Dutch approve bill to ban mink breeding
Dutch members of parliament on Thursday approved amended legislation to ban the breeding of mink for fur after a campaign spanning some 13 years and a wrangle over time frames.
First suggested in a motion in 1999, the bill was approved by parliament's lower house in 2008 but failed to get the nod from the upper house because of a 2018 deadline it proposed.
"A new amended bill has been approved," an official for the lower house told AFP.
The draft law now extends the closure of some 170 mink breeding facilities to 2024 and compensates owners for their demolition as well as people who invested in the trade for their pensions, said Dutch Party for the Animals MP Esther Ouwehand.
Wim Verhagen, director of the Dutch Fur Breeders Association, however told AFP the legislation would not compensate fur breeders apart from paying part of the cost to close down their businesses.
"It's a bad law and will remain a bad law because it doesn't give us honest compensation for damages we will incur as fur breeders," he said.
"It is however, not law yet as it still needs to be approved by the upper house -- it could still take a few years," he added, saying if the legislation finally does go through, breeders would look at taking government to court.
The Netherlands is the third-largest breeder of mink and last year some nine million of the animals were killed for their hides, Ouwehand said.
Verhagen said the industry earned some 300 million euros ($375 million) in export revenues last year.
© 2012 AFP