On 14th June 2022, the official petition that aims to achieve an EU-wide ban on keeping and killing animals for the sole purpose of fur production was submitted to the European Commission for consideration. The Fur Free Europe European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) has gathered over 1.5 million signatures, the has far surpassed the support needed for a potential law change.
Fur is falling in popularity in both the EU and the UK with the value of fur imports in the EU dropping more than 60%, and many EU countries have already banned fur farming, but others still have a well-developed industry. Finland and Poland are the EU countries with the highest number of fur farms. Finland is the largest producer of foxes (mainly ‘blue’ foxes) and raccoon dogs, with a production of 900,000 fox fur pelts in 2021, down from 2.53 million in 2017. Poland is currently the largest mink farmer with 4.5 million pelts produced in 2021. Lithuania, Greece, Finland and Spain make are the rest of the other top five. Denmark had culled all its minks from the industry because of the pandemic, but in December 2022 it announced plans to lift its temporary ban on mink farming and import 10,000 mink from Finland, Iceland, Poland, Norway and Spain to start again.
Fur farming has been banned in 19 European countries, which include Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the UK. According to Humane Society International, political discussions on a ban are also underway in Romania, Lithuania and Poland. England and Wales were the first European countries to enforce a ban on far farming in 2003, while Latvia was the latest last year.