A court in The Hague ruled that the restriction on fur-bearing animal breeding is unconstitutional and thereby lifted.
The court deemed as a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights that breeders wouldn’t receive proper compensation and would be left without income.
The legislation, based on the idea that fur is just an ‘unnecessary luxury product’, was passed by the Senate in late 2012 and would have come into effect in 2024.
The country is currently the third largest fur producer in the world with 160 fur farms that employ 1,400 workers and have a yearly production of 5 million furs.
“The Dutch message is that European politicians that wish to abolish this type of breeding should think twice. I hope that the court’s decision will convince them to help develop an agricultural branch which holds animal welfare in high regard and generates a lot of income through export instead of trying to abolish it”, Wim Verhagen (from the Dutch Federation of fur-bearing animal breeders) stated.
Junior economic affairs minister Sharon Dijksma said she will appeal against the court decision, reported Dutch News.
Animal welfare groups were left disappointed but will continue to fight against the industry. ‘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.’
Director of the animal protection organization Bont voor Dieren, Nicole van Gemert, said that it is not all bad news because the ruling provides all opportunities for appeal.. The judge didn’t talk about the fur industry in itself, just the fact that the compensation for farmers has not yet been worked out. As she explains it, if a better compensation is offered, the decision to lift the ban could be easily appealed.