Fur proposal by the Government is flayed
Animal protection organizations, fur breeders and business organizations are all critical of the Government’s proposal on how the fur industry should be wound up. “They don’t have a single professional argument!” the breeders exclaims.
In the bill that was sent out for consultation, it is suggested to ban fur farming immediately, but with a winding-up period until February 1st, 2025, for those who are engaged in the breeding of fur animals today.
The engagement around the case has been large, and by the consultation deadline on Thursday, the Government had received a total of 323 answers. The reactions are strong both among those who are for and against the abolishment of fur farming.
No professional arguments
The fur farmers believe that the Government justifies poorly why it wants to disallow their industry.
“The Government does come up with one single professional argument why to shut down the fur animal industry. In the bill, they refer to their own parliamentary report from 2017, where they state that animal welfare as being good,” Guri Wormedahl of the Norwegian Fur Breeders Association, states.
The Main Organisation of Norwegian Businesses (NHO) believes that the proposal «undermines longevity and predictability for small and medium-sized enterprises in the industry» and fears that the Government is now forming a precedent for more public intervention in the business sector as such.
“Introducing a ban on existing business activities is, in our opinion, an extremely invasive measure,” they write in their consultation response.
Demands a halt
NHO also refers to the Rules Council, that was established by the Government in 2015 to make sure that the business sector is not imposed unnecessary burdens when rule changes are made. The Rules Council is among the sceptics.
The assessment of the consequences for the current fur breeders has weaknesses, they assert.
The Farmers Association supports the Council’s conclusion as well and requires the immediate cessation of the work on the bill. They further demand a guarantee that no ban will be adopted during this parliamentary term.
“No resolution can be made on winding up on the basis that is outlined in the consultation draft. Such an intrusive legislative decision cannot be adopted on an inadequate basis,” the Farmers responds.
Internally in the Government, there is also resistance against prohibiting fur breeding. The Progress Party, Conservatives and Christian Democrats all wish to retain the industry. The Liberals did, however, scored a win on fur farming both in the Jeløya and Granavolden platforms.
It is thus up to the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Olaug Bollestad (Christian Democrats), to continue working on the proposal, even though she hails from Norway’s largest fur farm and represents a political party that wants to keep the industry.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has not answered NTB’s request for a comment on the various statements stemming from the consultation round.
While the business and farmer’s organisations are critical to that the fur industry is to be a thing of the past, the animal protection groups are unhappy with the length of the transition period.
NOAH agrees that the transition period should be shorter than six years. The animal welfare organisation is, however, pleased that the proposed compensation scheme does not stimulate breeders to business as usual through the entire period.
“We would preferably see that those who wind up their business in 2019 obtains an even more attractive incentive,” they opinionate.
Many private responses
In addition to the many responses from businesses and organisations, well over 100 individuals have submitted their personal response to the Government.
Fur Farmer, Øystein Storholm, is among those who are very critical.
“It is absolutely unreal that what my family has been doing for so long and have been proud of, is something that must be banned! Has spent all my time and money keeping this in legal and proper condition,” he writes.
Others believe that it is high time that the fur industry is wound up.
“The production of fur was necessary once upon a time. That chapter is closed, and one must realise this,” Espen Halvorsen believes.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today