Dutch lawmakers approve mink ban
Law would prohibit the keeping and killing of minks for their fur in the Netherlands from 2018.The Hague – Dutch lawmakers approved Tuesday a ban on mink breeding for fur with effect from 2018.
"A draft law was approved by a majority in the house of representatives," a spokeswoman told AFP.
The law, yet to be approved by the senate and signed by Queen Beatrix, prohibits the keeping and killing of minks for their fur.
While allowing a phasing-out period, it does not make provision for compensation for farmers.
Animal lobby group Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals) said the Netherlands is the world's third biggest mink fur producer.
Nearly five million minks are raised and gassed on some 200 farms in the country every year, the group said on its website.
According to statistics agency CBS, the Netherlands exported 1.4 million furs in 2008, up from just over a million in 2007.
Agriculture minister Gerda Verburg had opposed the draft law authored by two members of Parliament, arguing the sector had made huge investments in improving animal welfare.
In a recent debate in parliament, she said mink farmers were likely to seek damages in court, and warned "the bill will be for the cabinet".
Also Tuesday, a district court in the western port city of Rotterdam reportedly lifted the pre-trial detention of a 24-year-old man accused of freeing 2,500 minks from a farm in March.
Many of the animals were retrieved dead, hundreds went missing, and others killed chickens on neighbouring farms.
AFP / Expatica