Today, in the final and deciding vote, the Parliament of Latvia, known as Saeima,supported a complete ban on the breeding of animals for their fur in the country. The ban will begin on January 1, 2028.
The Saeima adopted the amendments to the Animal Protection Lawwith an overwhelming majority of votes. The amendments were submitted to the Saeima on September 9, 2021by 11 MPs from different political parties.
Over the course of the year, the Economic, Agricultural, Environmental, and Regional Policy Committee evaluated various plans and supported the wording of the law, which prohibits the breeding of animals for their fur and stipulates that fur farmers will not receive financial compensation, subject to a five year transition period. The members of the commission recognized this transition period as sufficient and adequate compensation for entrepreneurs, and that, in accordance with the principles of the rule of law, it would give fur farmers enough time to gradually end their activities and recover their investments.
Dzīvnieku brīvība has campaigned for the ban on fur farming for more than a decade. The animal rights association’s stance has been backed by 42,000 people and 50 non-governmental organizations,all which have signed an open letter to the Saeima.
“This is a historic moment for animal rights in Latvia, a huge victory for both animals and the people,” Katrīna Krīgere, Head of the Dzīvnieku brīvība association, said in a statement. “By prohibiting the imprisoning and killing of animals for their fur, we, the people of Latvia, affirm our values and respect for animals as living beings. We show that, in our country, compassion and reason are more important than greed and ostentation. After all, our attitude towards the vulnerable, animals, is a mirror of our own humanity.”
Despite the fact that the number of fur farms operating in Latvia and the amount of animals bred in them has been decreasing in recent years, at least 300,000 mink, as well as several hundred foxes and chinchillas, are still killed every year in Latvia for their fur. For example, the total number of animals in Latvian fur farms in 2017 was 617,000, in 2020 it was 580,000,and in 2022 the number, while still shocking, declined to 274,000animals.