Norwegian fur farmers to get a final answer on compensation after fur industry ban

Fur farmersPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB
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Two years after the Norwegian parliament (Storting) decided to ban the fur industry in Norway, breeders can finally get an answer on what kind of compensation they should receive.

“My goal is to work for agreement in the committee. That is the Progress Party’s goal, and I feel that the other parties share that goal,” Bengt Rune Strifeldt (FRP) said.

“Now we must be able to conclude the case so not only we politicians but also the fur industry can look up and look ahead,” he told news bureau NTB.

Strifeldt is responsible for resolving the issue of compensation to fur farmers through a new round in parliament. The recommendation from the business committee is scheduled to be ready on Thursday, May 27.

It is almost three and a half years since the Liberal Party (AP) got the go-ahead to ban the fur industry when they entered government with the Conservatives (H) and the Liberal Party (V). In June 2019, parliament decided that the ban will apply from 2025.

Required improvements

The Progress Party disliked the Liberal Party’s victory, and when the party left government last year, the question of compensation for fur breeders was one of the first things they tackled. 

It ended with a resolution request, an order from parliament to the government for a better solution for the farmers.

The dispute has, among other things, been about how the compensation should be calculated and who should be covered by the scheme. The Trade and Industry Committee in parliament has until Thursday to present its recommendation on the matter.

The chairman of the Committee, Geir Pollestad (SP), shares the Progress Party’s desire to have the case decided once and for all.

“The fur farmers have waited long enough. I hope all parties see that this has been unworthy and that now we must reach an agreement that gives the fur farmers full compensation and that allows this case to be concluded,” he said.

He believes the proposal the government presented in March was not good enough and hopes that the parliamentary parties will agree on improvements. 

He wants there to be as little discretion as possible in how the compensation is to be calculated and is also concerned with including more breeders in the scheme.

Want more options

Unlike the Center Party and the Green Party, the Labor Party has been in favor of the fur animal ban.

“We are very concerned that we should be able to give the fur farmers full compensation and a scheme that is perceived as fair in the whole,” business policy spokesperson Terje Aasland (AP) said. He also wants a solution with broad political support.

“It will be an advantage for the fur farmers,” he said.

The Labor Party wants to give farmers some alternatives in how the compensation is calculated, since some criteria may be wrong,” according to Aasland.

The Christian Democrat Party’s (KRF) business policy spokesman, Steinar Reiten, will not comment on the committee’s work on the proposal from his party colleague and Minister of Agriculture Olaug Bollestad.

Criticism

The government’s original compensation scheme was based on an amount per breeding female and the value of the facility. 

In the proposal presented by the government in March, it is stated that the compensation to the farmers shall be calculated in the same way as in the case of expropriation, as decided by parliament. But the Norwegian Fur Animal Association was still not happy.

“This is a proposal that is made up to look better, but which will still ruin farmers and ruin lives,” Board Chairman Bertran Trane Skadsem said.

Some more farmers are covered by the compensation scheme with the government’s new proposal, but none of the other crucial problems have been addressed, the interest group claimed.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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