A Dutch court's decision that the restriction on fur-bearing animal breeding (from 2024) is unconstitutional may have international repercussions, but European mink breeder and fur seller federations are delighted.
Lost income without compensation
The original restriction on fur-bearing animal breeding got through the Dutch Senate in 2012 and was based on the idea that fur is an "unnecessary luxury product". The decision had severe repercussions for the Dutch fur branch, which is the third largest mink breeding program with a yearly production of 5 million furs. Calculations deduced that it would have cost 1.2 billion euro if this branch had to shut down.
That was the biggest issue as the Dutch fur-bearing animal breeders would receive no compensation for the fact they had to shut down their entire operation, which meant that these breeders would have no income at all. The judge deemed this to be a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and lifted the restriction.
The decision may have huge repercussions as fur-bearing animal breeding is up for discussion in a lot of countries. "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.