271 top Irish stars seek ban on fur farming

Over 271 of the biggest names in Irish film, television and music have called on Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to ban fur farming in Ireland.

The campaign is the brainchild of Fair City actress Rachel Pilkington, who compiled a 13-page submission outlining why this industry runs counter to all the principals of best animal welfare.

Among the film and TV stars to sign up were Saoirse Ronan, Stephen Rea, Pauline McLynn, Amy Huberman, Simon Delaney, Lenny Abrahamson, Eva Birthistle, Victoria Smurfit, Angeline Ball, and Peter Sheridan. Love Hate’s Robert Sheehan, Peter Coonan, Jason Barry and Ruth Negga also signed their name as did musicians and singers Don Baker, Sharon Shannon, Brian Kennedy, Mary Black, Frances Black, Darren Holden and Martin Furey, and model Rosanna Davison.

Actress and musician Angelica Huston and Imelda May also stepped in when they heard about the campaign and independently asked for a ban.

Ms Pilkington said fur farming violates most of the “five freedoms” which underpin animal welfare best practices.

“By nature, mink are semi-aquatic and solitary mammals who are denied all basic rights to expression, dignity and freedom by being confined in groups to small cages for the duration of their lives. They exhibit many behaviours synonymous with stress until they are finally dragged from their cages in terror and forced into darkened, overcrowded gassing boxes to be poisoned by carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide,” she said.

“No amendments to the Government’s current code of practice will ever eradicate or sufficiently alleviate the suffering for these animals. For any minister to even attempt to validate such cruelty on the grounds of economic profit or ‘benefit’, is grossly unethical and demonstrates a level of apathy towards animals.”

In the last 10 years, global mink fur production has doubled, reaching 66 million skins last year, according to Finnish auction house Saga Furs. Despite the rise of Chinese producers, Europe still tops the world ranking, with Denmark in first place. Some 1,400 Danish farmers exported mink fur worth €1.7bn last year.


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