Only 24 of 101 Members of the Estonia Parliament voted in favour of a ban on fur farming in Estonia yesterday, and a public and parliamentary debate over fur that started in 2013, is effectively over. Fur farming remains a legal activity in Estonia.
“Reason and accountability have won in Estonia. Politicians and experts have found no consistent grounds to ban fur farming in Estonia. The same result has been reached in parliamentary debates in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Latvia in the past few years, and we are of course pleased with another positive result,” Mette Lykke Nielsen, CEO of Fur Europe, says.
In the long political process leading up to yesterday’s vote, fur farming has, amongst other things, been evaluated on all aspects by an expert group assessing all aspects of fur farming. The expert assessment also included an ethical evaluation which read:
“It is clear that there is much opposition to fur farming. But this does not seem to be based on any current ethical viewpoints in affecting or describing how we treat the animals in our care. Perhaps only the weak ideology, or preference, of not harming furry animals with appealing faces. But this is insupportable as an ethical basis. In conclusion, not one of the ethical views described allows us to consider fur farming to be exclusively wrong when compared with current systems of livestock production.”
Of the three Baltic countries the question of fur farming only remains on the political agenda in Lithuania, but Fur Europe remains confident that this debate too will fall in favour of the fur farmers.
“What is important to politicians and the public in general is animal welfare, and politicians are listening carefully when we tell them we can document the welfare standards in the fur production when our animal welfare assessment system WelFur is implemented. Across Europe we are also inviting people to see the fur fur farms with their own eyes, and I think the animal lobby’s talk about torture and suffering is becoming trivial and unreliable for most people,” Mette lykke Nielsen says.