The Budget Committee of the Italian Senate has voted to ban fur farming throughout Italy and shut down the country’s 10 remaining mink fur farms within six months, in a move hailed as “an historic victory” by the Humane Society International.
The vote followed approved amendments to the budget law, which included an immediate ban on breeding of fur-bearing animals including mink, foxes, raccoon dogs and chinchillas, and the closure of all active fur farms in Italy by June 30, 2022, and compensation for farmers, covered by a fund from the Ministry of Agriculture for a total of 3 million euros in 2022.
This comes after animal protection organisation Humane Society International/Europe presented practical, strategic solutions to close and convert fur farms into alternative, humane and sustainable businesses in its recent report ‘Mink breeding in Italy: Mapping and future perspectives’.
The decision still requires final approval by the Italian Parliament, however, this is expected to go through by the year’s end, making Italy the 16th country in Europe to ban fur farming. Many Italian designers have already gone fur-free including Valentino, Armani, Gucci, Prada and Versace.
Martina Pluda, director of Humane Society International in Italy, said in a statement: “This is an historic victory for animal protection in Italy, and HSI/Europe is immensely proud that our fur farm conversion strategy has played a central role in dismantling this cruel and dangerous industry in our country. There are very clear economic, environmental, public health and of course animal welfare reasons to close and ban fur farms.
“Today’s vote recognises that allowing the mass breeding of wild animals for frivolous fur fashion represents a risk to both animals and people that can’t be justified by the limited economic benefits it offers to a small minority of people involved in this cruel industry. With so many designers, retailers and consumers going fur-free, conversion of fur farms offers people a sustainable future that the fur trade simply cannot provide.”
HSI/Europe’s fur farm conversion proposal, which sought an end to fur farming due to animal cruelty and public health risks from zoonotic diseases, was endorsed by Italian Member of Parliament the Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla, who launched the political action to implement the conversion strategy with existing public funds, and Sen. Loredana De Petris who formally submitted the amendment.
Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla, president of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights and of the Italian League for the Defense of Animals and the Environment, commented on the vote: “In thirty years of animal rights battle, this is the best victory. Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity.
“Italy is the twentieth European country to introduce a ban or severe restriction on fur farming: better late than never. Now we await the final approval of the budget law, but the political will has been clearly expressed. A dream comes true that animal protection associations have cultivated for decades in our country.”