Finns want ban on fur farming

In Finland, a citizens' initiative petition calling for the abolition of fur farming has gathered more than 50,000 signatures within 24 hours. This direct democracy instrument means that the petition must now be debated in parliament. Commentators discuss whether a ban would be a sensible move.

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Lapin Kansa (FI) /

Fur is unnecessary

Lapin Kansa says Finland's fur industry has no future:

“The citizens' initiative has proposed a national plan to phase out fur production, which includes an appropriate transition period. For those who give up fur farming, it foresees the introduction of a support scheme. ... This proposal sounds reasonable and should be taken seriously. The fur industry will be forced to give up sooner or later anyway - preferably sooner rather than later. ... Proponents of fur farming like to point out that there are also ethical problems in the meat industry. Although this is true, it doesn't make the fur industry any more acceptable. Moreover, this is a faulty comparison: fur is unnecessary, while food is always needed.”

Kaleva (FI) /

Breeders should not face hardship

Kaleva calls for fur farming to be phased out gradually:

“There are widely differing views about living conditions for animals bred for fur. According to the Finnish Association of Fur Farmers, animals in Finland's fur farms are well treated. ... The argument that ending fur farming in Finland would only result in production moving to China, where conditions would be less favourable, is not very convincing. An end to fur farming in general would be more likely if Finland joined the long list of countries that have banned this practice. However, the ban must be implemented fairly, with a sufficiently long transition period. Breeders whose businesses are legitimate should not have to face hardship.”