Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Questions (895)

Mick Barry

Question:

895. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if plans will be accelerated to end fur farming given the outbreak of Covid-19 on mink farms in Europe and the move by other European states to accelerate their plans to prohibit the practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36799/20]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The Programme for Government 2020 contains a commitment regarding the prohibition of fur farming and Department officials have been working on appropriate steps to give effect to this.  My Department will, in due course, commence the process of preparing a Bill to provide for the phased introduction of a ban on fur farming which will include a prohibition on mink farming.

The Bill will make it illegal for any new fur farms to be established and will put in place phase out arrangements for the small number of current operators.  

Following the outbreak of a new form of Covid 19 in mink in Denmark and the possibility of the mutation moving from mink to humans, my Department has initiated testing of animals on the three mink farms.  Public safety is our main concern.  Results received to date have been negative.