Over 1.5 million signatures have been collected by four Dutch animal protection organizations that joined a European citizens’ initiative for the European Union to ban fur. The rules state that at least 1 million signatures must be collected to force the European Commission to look at a citizens’ initiative.
These Dutch organisations are Bont voor Dieren, Dier&Recht, Stichting Vier Voeters, and World Animal Protection Netherlands. Fur farms have been banned in the Netherlands for two years, but fur items can still be imported and traded. In some European countries, farming raccoons, foxes, minks, or chinchillas for their fur is still legal. Although many countries are turning their backs on this cruel industry, Poland and Finland still have large and thriving fur industries with millions of animals living in small cages. It is estimated that in the EU 32 million animals are killed by the fur industry every year.
Sandra Schoenmakers, the director of Bont voor Dieren, said to the Throw newspaper: “Many major fashion brands have already stopped using fur, and it is generally sold less. But there are still many coats in the shops that have real fur collars… People often think that a fur collar is not made of real fur because fur is expensive. But that image is wrong. Fur is made very cheaply in China, in an industry with often substandard conditions. If we ban breeding animals for fur in Europe, I hope it will also lead to a European import ban on fur.”
Anja Hazekamp, a Member of the European Parliament on behalf of the PvdD, called for a ban on the sale of fur and breeding animals. She said, “Fur farms cannot meet the complex behavioural needs of wild animal species. Fur is incredibly cruel.”