Ireland Poised End Fur Farming — The republic of Ireland is poised to end the farming of animals to produce fur. The decision came after similar bans in Europe placed pressure on the Government to follow suit. Agriculture Minister Michael Creed is seeking government approval to begin drafting the ban.
Under the pressure of animal welfare associations, brands are abandoning fur more and more and now governments are following suit. Is it the end of an era or a mere fad?
In September 2018, London Fashion Week announced that it was banishing fur from her podiums. For Isabelle Goetz, spokesperson for Peta France, the decision is “progressive and fair”. Indeed, the activist explains that, even if fur is no longer associated with luxury, these grand-masses during which haute couture and ready-to-wear present their new collections, continue to influence fashion. That is why this statement is, for her, “a strong signal that shows that there is a very important change in the way we perceive the fashion and place of animals in society”.
The movement seems already well engaged since some big names of luxury have abandoned fur. Among them, Burberry, Versace, Michael Kors, Armani, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Prada … who consider it obsolete. Immediately followed by more mainstream ready-to-wear brands such as Zara, H & M, Etam, Promod.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, the example sometimes comes from the countries themselves, which initiate measures to ban the breeding of animals for their fur. This is the case of Austria, the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Ireland and Spain, which are gradually organizing the dismantling of farms. Since 2010, these initiatives are accelerating.
According to the anti-fur association, only thirteen countries in the European Union still allow people to raise animals exclusively for their fur, such as mink, chinchilla or rabbit. Belgium being the last nation of the EU to have decreed illegal (from 1 December 2023) this type of breeding. In the United States, if the practice is not banned at the national level, the prohibition to produce and sell new fur is decreed at the city level, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Yet, despite these clear advances, the fur market is still doing well around the world. In 2017, the sector generated more than $ 30billion in revenue, thanks in particular to the Chinese market that is flooding the planet with its low-cost products made from animal fur grown on its territory, where the practice is hardly shocking.
Things may be changing, though, thanks to the consumer. An Ifop survey, conducted for the 30 Million Friends Foundation in February 2018, revealed that 86% of French people are in favor of closing fur farms. This can be seen as the result of numerous anti-frantic campaigns initiated by the association, accompanied in its fight by many others like L214, Peta or One Voice.
With shocking images and videos, they reveal the cruel conditions of breeding and slaughtering in France where animals live packed in tiny cages, without hygiene, and then killed by unworthy methods such as electrocution, hanging or gassing. “No consumer can no longer ignore these conditions of breeding and slaughter,” says Isabelle Goetz, who regrets that the French state leaves gray areas in this economic sector. “The Ministry of Agriculture does not even know how many fur farms there are on our territory! The law says there are supposed to be rules about the number of animals that can be raised. However, this number is very often exceeded. Some farms are not even declared! This shows that nothing is controlled,” worries the Peta spokeswoman.
For the activist, though a disgust of fur appeared in the 1980s, industrialists have nevertheless managed to reintroduce this material in our wardrobe through the trimmings in our coats, or small details like the edges of hoods and hats. And all this without informing the consumer.