The Italian Senate’s Budget Committee voted yesterday to approve a modified version of a budget law amendment.
fur-bearing animals, such as mink, foxes, chinchillas, and raccoon dogs, are now prohibited from being bred.
Furthermore, all active fur farms in Italy must close by June 30, 2022.
In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture will provide funds to farmers who are affected by the ban, with €3 million set aside for this purpose.
The ban is expected to be approved by Parliament by the end of the year, according to animal rights organization Humane Society International/Europe (HSI).
A slew of Italian fashion designers have already pledged to eliminate fur from their collections, runways, and magazine covers. fur has been phased out of Armani, Gucci, Prada, Valentino, and Versace’s collections.
Meanwhile, the Italian edition of ELLE magazine has pledged to never work with or advertise the animal product again; the policy applies to all of ELLE’s editions worldwide.
A win for the animals
Animal rights activists have reacted positively to the news.
Michela Vittoria Brambilla is the president of the Italian League for the Defense of Animals and the Environment, as well as the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights.
“In thirty years of animal rights battle this is the best victory. Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity … better late than never,” they said in a statement.
“Now we await the final approval of the budget law, but the political will has been clearly expressed. A dream comes true that animal protection associations have cultivated for decades in our country … It is a great achievement, which finally all those who love and respect animals rejoice!”
Martina Pluda, HSI’s director in Italy, agrees with Brambilla’s assessment.
“This is a historic victory for animal protection in Italy, and HSI/Europe is immensely proud that our fur farm conversion strategy has played a central role in dismantling this cruel and dangerous industry in our country,” Pluda was referring to HSI/recent Europe’s report on mink breeding, which outlined the trade’s risks and potential exit strategies.
fur farming has been linked to multiple outbreaks of COVID-19, in addition to being rife with animal cruelty concerns. Such outbreaks have been confirmed on 465 mink farms in 12 countries, including Italy, as of this month (December 2021).
“There are very clear economic, environmental, public health and of course animal welfare reasons to close and ban fur farms,” Pluda continued. “[This] vote recognizes that allowing the mass breeding of wild animals for frivolous fur fashion represents a risk to both animals and people that can’t be justified by the limited economic benefits it offers to a small minority of people involved in this cruel industry,”