Fur farmers celebrate as court throws out ban on mink farming (update)

A court in The Hague on Wednesday overturned a new law to ban breeding animals for fur from 2024.

The law will have a ‘serious financial impact’ on breeders and it is totally unclear if they will be given proper compensation, the judges said in their verdict.

The legislation to phase out fur farming was passed by the senate at the end of 2012, three years after it was agreed by the lower house.

Five million pelts

Fur farmers described the decision as ‘historic’, saying the ban would have meant the end of an economically successful sector, news agency ANP reports.

The Netherlands has some 160 fur farms producing five million pelts a year. The sector employs some 1,400 people.

The Netherlands is the third biggest fur farming nation in the world behind Denmark and China.


Junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma said she will appeal against the court decision.

However, D66 parliamentarian Gerard Schouw called on Dijksma to revise the decision and take the courts comments on compensation for farmers into account.

Earlier, researchers at Wageningen University said the the cost of the ban would be €651m.

Animal rights groups said they were very disappointed at the court ruling.

‘It has been clear to breeders for years that a ban was in the offing,’ said a spokesman for animal protection group Dierenbescherming. ‘It would be awful for animals if the ban now takes even longer.’

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