On 21st September 2023, Lithuania passed a law banning fur farms from 2027. The proposed amendments to the Law on Welfare and Protection of Animals were passed with 68 votes against 25 and 15 abstentions. The new Act is yet to be signed by President Gitanas Nausėda.
Those fur farm operators still active at the time of the law being enacted will be economically compensated. The ban will come into force in 2027 after a transitional period from 2024 to 2026 when fur farmers will be able to close their farms and receive compensation (which will be 3 euros per animal in the first year, 2 euros per animal in the second year and one euro in the final year).
The government will also compensate redundancy payments for farm workers and cover costs related to the demolition of buildings, the destruction of equipment and waste management.
Leva Pakarklytė, of the liberal Freedom Party which is part of the ruling coalition in Lithuania, said before the vote, “We have reached the level of maturity not to continue with activities that cause pain.”
Lithuania has become the 20th European country that has enacted legislation to ban totally or partially fur farms. On 22nd September 2022, neighbouring Latvia passed a vote for a complete ban on the breeding of animals for fur, which will enter into force in 2028. Across the EU, there was a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) which aimed to achieve an EU-wide ban on keeping and killing animals for the sole or main purpose of fur production, as well as placing farmed animal fur, and products containing such fur, on the EU market. It got 1,502,319 signatories across all EU countries, 49,650 of which were from Lithuania.