Documenting the victims of factory farming: an interview with photojournalist Andrew Skowron
September 29, 2020
On Thursday, the bill to ban fur farming passed the first reading in the Riigikogu, the Parliament of Estonia. The bill provides a phase-out period until 2023. Animal activists celebrate an important step towards banning fur farming and thank the members of the parliament.
“Today we passed a landmark – the Parliament has previously discussed the bill to ban fur farming but today we made a step forward and proceeded to a substantive discussion. The fact that the bill passed the first reading shows that the importance of animal welfare has increased in Estonian society, which has also reached the decision-makers. The voice of the people is being heard,” says Kristina Mering, the president of the Estonian animal welfare organisation Nähtamatud Loomad (part of Anima International). “Now the work will continue with the amendments to ensure that the second and the third reading of the bill are also successful,” Mering added.The bill to ban fur farming will now move to the second reading, and the members of parliament will be able to propose amendments to the bill.
In the last few years, the Estonian fur industry has experienced a severe downturn – if previously fur farms hosted around 200.000 animals, their number has declined to less than 2000 today. Most fur farms have informed the Veterinary and Food Administration that they are closing down soon.
A recent public opinion survey conducted by Kantar Emor in September 2020 showed that 75% of Estonians do not support raising and killing of foxes and minks for fur.
We are now also waiting impatiently for the bill to ban fur farming in Poland to be finally introduced. Last week it was approved by the Polish Senate which means Poland just took one step closer to a ban on fur farming for good. Next, the bill will return to the lower parliament (the Sejm) for the amendments to be approved. Then the President needs to approve it, at which point, if all goes well, the bill will become law.
Thus if all goes well we will soon have two European countries that don't participate in fur farming. For now, it is banned in the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Czech Republic. Denmark and Sweden have banned fox farms.