Irish celebrities call for ban on fur farming

A number of Irish celebrities including Imelda May and actors Simon Delaney and Saoirse Ronan are among those who have put their names to a campaign to end fur farming in Ireland.

The celebs, led by Rachel Pilkington who plays Fair City's Jane, are urging Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to ban the practice which is already outlawed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, Minister Coveney has so far resisted pressure to ban it here, despite only five mink farms operating around the country.

Footage emerged at the weekend purportedly showing minks held captive in cages at a farm in Co. Laois.

The minks are seen repeatedly throwing themselves at the bars of the cage in an effort to break free.

A National Animal Rights Association protest took place outside the farm last weekend and Aideen Yourell of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports (ICABS), who was present, described it as "very distressing and depressing".

She said: "The Minister is proposing a so-called code of practice for fur farms, but this won’t address the intrinsic and inherent cruelty of confining wild animals in cages, and then gassing them to death at six months old.

"If we, as a supposedly civilised country, cannot legislate against this horrendous cruelty, we are sending out a message that we lack the courage to take on minority interests, that we are a gutless and backward country, which has a history of brushing unpleasant social and moral issues under the carpet," she added.

Imelda May - who recently played a critically acclaimed show at the Live at the Marquee series in Cork - said last year: "Fur farming is a shameful, cruel industry that has no place in modern Ireland. Please make Irish people proud and enact an immediate ban."

Love/Hate actor Robert Sheehan, Father Ted's Mrs. Doyle star Pauline McLynn and musician Sharon Shannon have also voiced their support for the ICABS campaign.

Minister Coveney commented in 2013 that fur farming was an industry he didn't like on a personal level "but that doesn’t meant I should be banning it".

Independent TD Clare Daly said: "Fur farming is inherently cruel and inhumane. An outright ban on fur farming is the only choice that is compatible with animal welfare."


After separating from my husband of 15 years I was worried about how to meet someone new. In fact, on the dating apps I signed up to, I’ve had an overwhelming number of replies — but only from sexually enthusiastic younger men.Sex File: Dating a younger man is socially acceptable

Their paths first crossed in the classroom 13 years ago for childhood sweethearts Emma Murphy and Kevin Leahy.Wedding of the Week: Lessons in love started in the classroom for childhood sweethearts

“This podcast features something never previously heard — anywhere, from anyone — the confession tape of an Irish serial killer.'Podcast Corner: Chilling story of an Irish serial killer

Children’s creativity is inspiring, says Helen O’Callaghan.Inspiring creativity: Kids on call for climate essay

More From The Irish Examiner