Norway’s government to phase out fur farms by 2025
The Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance (NAPA) applauds Prime Minister Erna Solberg's new three-party coalition government for deciding to phase out fur farming by 2025. NAPA has been lobbying for a ban on fur farming since we started campaigning for better animal protection in 2001.
Tough negotiations for fur animals
The three coalition parties started negotiations on January 2nd 2018 and agreed to form a government on January 14th, based on governing principles between the three parties outlined in a “Politisk platform” (political platform).
Fur farming was one of the issues the three parties disagreed on initially:
- Venstre (The Liberal party) was opposed to fur farming.
- Høyre (The Conservative Party) supported fur farming and called for “strict demands on animal welfare”.
- Fremskrittspartiet (The Progress Party) supported fur farming and called for "a review of the regulations on animal welfare and discontinued subsidies".
There were, however also strong voices against fur farming in Høyre and Fremskrittspartiet, even if in minority.
NAPA has been in close dialogue with The Liberal Party over several years, and in meetings prior to the negotiations we were assured that fur farming would be a prioritized issue. It was therefore no suprise to us that fur farming was part of the negotiations, but it was a huge positive surprise that our year-long efforts resulted in a political agreement to phase out fur farming by 2025!
The Liberal Party has one of the best party programs regarding animal welfare and has long been a clear voice against fur production. They are a small party compared to the other two, so a decision to ban fur farming was a lot to hope for.
The following is a rough translation of relevant text from the "Politisk plattform utgått av Høyre, Fremskrittspartiet og Venstre" (2018):
The government will conduct a controlled phase out of fur farming. The aim is to promote a parliamentary petition to the Storting on a ban on fur farming with a termination period for existing producers until the end of 2024/2025. In order to prevent that the phaseout conflicts with the European Convention on Human Rights, Additional Protocol 1 Article 1, and to give the producers the necessary predictability, it is proposed that existing fur farmers per. 15.1.2018 receive financial compensation for loss of the right to run fur farms, cf. the legal assessment attached to Meld. St. 8 (2016-2017). The compensation scheme will be investigated and clarified in 2018 to give the fur farmers the necessary security for the completion of the phase out. Other measures will also be considered to facilitate the move to other agricultural production forms for the involved farmers. This will be addressed by the parties to the agricultural settlement by 2019. In addition, the state will initiate cooperation with municipalities where fur farming is of importance to ensure transition measures and flexibility for fur producers affected by the phase out process. Requirements for improved animal welfare in fur farming as follows from Meld. St. 8 (2016-2017) and Innst. 151 S (2016-2017), will not be implemented during the settlement period.
Long term campaigning has payed off
The Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance's lobby work has been a success so far: Our first meeting on fur farming with Trine Skei Grande, the current leader of The Liberal Party (Venstre) was in 2002. Since then we have continuously provided updated information and fact based evidence calling for a ban on fur farming to hundreds of politicians from all political parties.
NAPA applauds the commitment to ban fur farming by 2025. However, the political path leading to the phase out of fur farming in Norway is still in the distance. The fur lobby and their allies in the Norwegian Farmer's Union will be working hard to overturn the current agreement. There are also national elections in 2021, which could disrupt the process. NAPA will continue our political efforts for a ban on fur farming until we are sure there are no more minks or foxes being bred in small wire mesh cages for the fashion industry.