The Dutch Ban Fur Farms That Kill 6 Million Mink a Year
After years of legal battles, a Netherlands court orders the industry to shut down.
The Dutch Ban Fur Farms That Kill 6 Million Mink a Year
By John R. Platt / takepart.com
Nov 13, 2015

The business of raising thousands of mink to slaughter and make into fur coats suffered a big setback Tuesday when a Dutch appeals court reinstated a 2012 law that will effectively shut down the industry.

The Netherlands is the world’s fourth-largest producer of mink fur. The country has 160 fur farms that raise about 6 million minks per year.

Animal rights groups have long argued that these farms are cruel and unsafe. Reports from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals say the mink are crowded into small, confined cages where they have little ability to move. Mink are solitary animals that normally have ranges of hundreds of miles in the wild. Confined minks often go cage mad, pacing endlessly and mutilating themselves, according to activists. Animals are often poisoned or electrocuted to kill them without damaging their fur.

The Dutch senate agreed with animal rights groups and banned the industry in 2012 after discussing the issue for 13 years. At the time mink farms were given until 2024 to phase out their operations. Farmers were offered 28 million euros to compensate for the transition.

They sued, though, and the courts overturned the law in 2014. This week’s appeals court ruling places the law back on the books. The industry will still have until 2024 to close down.

“With this decision, the Netherlands has unwaveringly proclaimed that the welfare and lives of six million mink is more important than the economic interests of fur farmers and mink breeders profiting from the cruel exploitation of these animals,” said Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, one of more than 40 organizations which supported the move under the banner of the Fur Free Alliance. Roberts said he hoped other fur-producing countries, including the United States, would follow the Netherlands’ example and ban their own fur industries.

Other groups also praised the decision. Nicole van Gemert, director of a Dutch anti-fur organization called Bont voor Dieren, said in a statement that last year’s court ruling was a major setback. She said 20 new farms were established or expanded after that ruling and called those expansions illegal under the reinstated law.

The activist groups will continue their efforts to shut down any farms they believe are illegal and to ensure that the court-ordered shutdown of the industry continues on schedule. They are also working in other countries. A mink farm in Norway was raided by authorities in October after finding “serious injuries and open sores” among the facility’s 30,000 animals.

The Dutch fur industry has vowed to appeal the ruling to the country’s highest court. A spokesperson for the Dutch Federation of Noble Fur Holders told news agency ANP that the group will “pursue this case to the bitter end.”

4.0 ·
1
Trending Today
Globalization Makes No Sense
Chris Agnos · 8,879 views today · When I lived in San Francisco, I often would marvel at the movement of goods through the ports across the bay in Oakland. Full container ships would enter the bay one after...
Proof of Evolution That You Can Find on Your Body
4 min · 6,648 views today · Vestigial structures are evolution's leftovers — body parts that, through inheritance, have outlived the context in which they arose. Some of the most delightful reminders of...
DAPL Opponents Vow to 'Rise' From Ashes of Oceti Sakowin and Keep Fighting
Lauren McCauley · 3,595 views today · 'They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started,' Dallas Goldtooth declared
Those That Did Not Seek Revenge
Dr. Ann Russo · 2,481 views today · Dr. Ann Russo on violence, healing, and transforming justice.
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 2,157 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Stunning Small Homes Form Part of a Communal Compound for Best Friends
Lighter Side · 1,369 views today · If you’re lucky enough to have longtime friends even as an adult, then you know probably already know how much it means to be able to spend time together. Maybe you even have a...
The Foiled Bomb Plot in Kansas That Didn't Make Trump's Terror List
5 min · 1,161 views today · When a plot by a pro-white militia to bomb a Somali mosque in Kansas was foiled by the FBI last October, the aborted conspiracy received little national coverage - nor did it...
Where the Term "Redneck" Came From
15 min · 1,012 views today · If you don't know this story, you'll never look at the word the same again.  This is just a window into the sometimes shocking, subversive and untold history of the United...
Without Saying a Word This 6 Minute Clip From Samsara Will Make You Speechless
6 min · 994 views today · Can you put this video into words? It's a clip from the phenomenal documentary Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke, who also made Baraka.  If you're interested in watching...
Michael Moore Wants to Help You Find Your Next Anti-Trump Protest
Sarah Ruiz-Grossman · 962 views today · The Resistance Calendar lists upcoming rallies across the country.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 790 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Most Astounding Fact about the Universe
3 min · 721 views today · This is Neil Degrasse Tyson's response when asked to describe the most astounding fact about the universe. Background music is the cinematic orchestra - To build a home.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 650 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
To Change Everything, Start Everywhere
8 min · 621 views today · To Change Everything, Start Everywhere! The case for complete self-determination—a guide for the furious, the curious, and the pure of heart. To Change Everything: An...
How Norway Avoided Becoming a Fascist State
George Lakey · 614 views today · Instead of falling to the Nazi party, Norway broke through to a social democracy. Their history shows us polarization is nothing to despair over.
Transition From Caterpillar to Butterfly as Analogy for Social Change
4 min · 595 views today · An exceprt from Crossroads: Labor Pains of a New Worldview in which Dr. Bruce Lipton talks about the fractal nature of reality and compares the current global awakening and the...
10 Words Every Girl Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly · 541 views today · "Stop interrupting me."  "I just said that." "No explanation needed." In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 498 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 489 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 481 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
The Dutch Ban Fur Farms That Kill 6 Million Mink a Year