It has been revealed that Norway’s government plans to phase out fur farms by 2025.
Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s government agreed to shut fox and mink farms that produce about one million pelts a year as part of a deal on Sunday to broaden her two two-party minority government by adding the anti-fur Liberal Party.
The decision is being hailed by animal rights activists as a shift against what it views as a cruel business. Humane Society International, which campaigns against the fur trade, said in a statement that Norway was the 14th European nation to phase out fur farming “sparing animals who would otherwise spend their entire lives in cramped, barren cages.”
Meanwhile, producers are said to be dismayed with the decision. “We’re shocked, shaken to the core,” Guri Wormdahl of the Norwegian Fur Breeders Association told Reuters. She said there are about 200 fur farms in Norway employing about 400 people under strict rules for animal welfare with annual turnover of between 350 million to 500 million Norwegian crowns (£45.95 million).
According to government reports, fox farming peaked in 1939 in Norway, with around 20,000 farms. However, by 2013 Norway produced only about three percent of 7.3 million fox furs worldwide in a market dominated by China, with 69 percent, and Finland. That same year, Norway produced one percent of world mink output of 72.6 million, a market also dominated by China.
The news follows in the wake that the fashion house Gucci will no longer use fur in its designs. It joins the likes of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Armani which are all fur-free.