Review of Prohibitions and Legal Regulations On Breeding of Animals for Fur In European Countries

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The EU leaves to member states the possibility of a ban on the state level and acts vary from case to case.

Some countries have introduced a complete ban on breeding of animals for fur, generally written in the law for all animals; some have individually over time forbade the breeding of certain species and / or have bans in individual regions, and in some the breeding is limited or totally disabled by the sequence of strict regulations on breeding animals for fur.

To ease a review, the information on individual countries are grouped according to the similarity of the adopted acts.

A general ban, currently in effect:

United Kingdom - the first European country that adopted the ban on ethical grounds, although it had an annual production of nearly 1.3 million of Canadian mink. The ban was first adopted in England and Wales in 2000, and entered into force in 2003. In Scotland the ban came into force in 2001. In Northern Ireland the ban was adopted in 2002.

Austria – the breeding of animals for fur has been banned since 2004, and entered into force in 2005.

Macedonia - the act that came int force in October 2014 banned the breeding of animals for fur, skin or feathers.

Slovenia – in 2013, 95% of the members of the Slovenian parliament passed by vote a ban on breeding of animals for fur, skin or feathers, with a transitional period of two years. In Slovenia the ban came into force on January 1, 2015 and it includes a ban on breeding and hunting of animals for their fur, skin or feathers.

General prohibition, a transitional period pending:

Croatia - the ban was adopted in 2007 as a part of the Animal Protection Act with the foreseen transitional period of 10 years. It should enter fully into force on January 1, 2017.

Bosnia and Herzegovina - the ban on breeding of animals for fur was adopted in 2009, and it comes fully into force in 2018.

Serbia - the ban on keeping, breeding, import, export and killing of animals for the production of fur and leather, has been passed by the Animal Welfare Act in 2009, and shall come fully into force on January 1, 2019.

The Netherlandsbanned the breeding of foxes for their fur in 1995. The breeding of chinchillas for fur was banned in the Netherlands in 1997, also due to the inability to achieve adequate conditions for the welfare of farm animals, but both bans came into force in 2008.

The member of the Dutch Parliament (the States General) Krista van Velzen tabled on October 4, 2006 a proposal of an act to prohibit the breeding of animals for fur. The act is based on an ethical idea of inadmissibility of keeping fur-bearing animals and their killing exclusively for the production of fur. On January 15, 2013 an act prohibiting the breeding of animals for fur came into force. The act included a transitional period of 11 years (until January 1, 2024) in order to compensate the mink breeders for the financial damage caused by the ban and to facilitate their return on investment. The act, moreover, contains supporting measures that offer compensation for financial losses due to the costs of closure, re-investing or different impact on pension plans. The Dutch association of breeders of animals for fur has filed a complaint against the adopted act, ie. they sued the Netherlands alleging it illegal because they have not received a compensation. The District Court ruled in their favor on May 21, 2014.

The Netherlands loged an appeal based on which The Hague Court of Appeal, in November 2015, annulled the decision of the District Court and confirmed the existing ban, pointing out that the new act takes adequately into consideration the interests of breeders of animals for fur because of a transitional period of 11 years and that the supporting measures of the act should be considered as a form of compensation.

Explaining the verdict, it was stated that a legal interpretation of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) shows that the loss of future income, which the mink breeders claimed to suffer during the transitional period, is not protected by the Article 1 of the First Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights and adds "The mink breeders could not miss that a big part of dutch society considers unethical wearing and keeping of animals for fur production.''

This way an ethical attitude of the public is clearly pointed out as more important than the economical aspect.

Partial ban (by animals or part of the country):

Denmark - banned the breeding of foxes for fur in 2009 with a transitional period of 15 years.

Belgium – the bans were adopted in the Walloon region and in Brussels in 2015, and they await the decision of the The Minister-President of Flanders to pass a ban for the remaining regions of the country.

Following strict regulations the breeding is restricted or disabled and in:

Germany - fur farms are banned in the German states of Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein. In 2009 Germany adopted new rules regarding breeding of animals for fur, which require increasing the space in cages for the animals.

In 2012, the last fur farm for breeding chinchillas Germany was closed due to new regulations on the conditions for accommodation of animals.

In 2016 the Regulation for fur farming will come into force, which will require the pool with water for swimming for Canadian minks, increasing the minimum dimensions of cages, the area where foxes and raccoons can dig and other specific requirements for each type of animal, including for chinchillas. It is expected that these stricter regulations will lead to the closure of fur farms in Germany and to a full prohibiotion.

In addition, the Bundesrat (the representative body of 16 federal states of Germany, which participate in the legislative process) introduced during the 2015 legislative proposal for a ban on breeding of animals for fur. The proposal was supported by the German Government, and is currently awaiting the decision of the Bundestag.

Sweden - ended breeding of foxes for fur in 1995, through amendments to its Protocol on protection and welfare of animals, which urges keeping foxes in a way that allows their natural behavior such as digging and socialization with other foxes. This legislative change was economically unsustainable and all the swedish fox farms are closed until 2000, even though the breeders could adjust to more strict requirements by 2010.

The Swedish Government ordered in 2000 from the Swedish Board of Agriculture the evaluation of keeping of chinchillas. In its report, the Committee on Agriculture found that breeders of chinchillas does not comply with the requirements of the Standing Committee of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes of 1999, regarding the dimensions and the equipment in cages, bedding, nesting boxes and activity options. The inspection controls for animal welfare and veterinarians in recent years have shown that chinchillas on the swedish farms live in very poor conditions. Among the biggest problems are: poor air quality, lack of active life, lack of food, stereotyped behavior and chinchillas that were required to wear a polygamous necklaces around their necks up to nine years in a row. Stricter regulations from 2012, which entered into force in 2014, led to the closure of the last chinchilla farms in October 2014.

Switzerland - although there is no formal ban on breeding animals for fur, such animals are considered to be wild animals and because of the strict regulations for keeping them there is no breeding.

Besides these countries, in some parts of other countries there are ongoing discussions on the ban.

Outside of Europe, breeding is prohibited as well in the brazilian state of São Paulo. In November 2014 an act was passed that prohibits the breeding of animals for fur in São Paulo, although after Argentina, Brazil is one of the largest exporters of chinchilla fur in the world.

The provisions of the act in individual states (alphabetically)

Legislation ban:
Federal Act on the Protection of Animals of 2004 (Animal Protection Act – TSchG)

Original text:
"§ 25. (1) Wildtiere: (…)
(5) Die Haltung von Pelztieren zur Pelzgewinnung ist verboten."

Federal Act on the Protection of Animals - Article 25
« § 25. (1) Wild animals: (…)
(5) It is prohibited to keep animals for obtaining furs.»

Belgium (Walloon Region)

Legislation ban:
Chapter II of the law of 14th of August 1989 regarding the protection and the wellbeing of animals. -> New article on fur farming added in 2015.

Original text:
« Art. 9/1. La détention d’animaux à des fins exclusives ou principales de production de fourrure est interdite. »
(law of 14th of August)

Law of 14th of August - Article 1.9
« Art. 1.9. The possession of animals only and mainly for the production of fur has been prohibited.»

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Na osnovu člana IV. 4.a) Ustava Bosne i Hercegovine, Parlamentarna skupština Bosne i Hercegovine, na 42. sjednici Predstavničkog doma, održanoj 17. i 29. decembra 2008. godine, i na 25. sjednici Doma naroda, održanoj 26. februara 2009. godine, usvojila je


Član 2.
(Značenje termina)

s) životinje za držanje su životinje koje se drže ili gaje za proizvodnju hrane, odnosno za proizvodnju vune, kože, krzna ili u druge privredne svrhe;


Član 43.
(Rok za donošenje podzakonskih akata)

(5) Odredba iz člana 4. ovog zakona o zabrani uzgoja životinja s ciljem proizvodnje krzna stupit će na snagu 2018. godine.


Based on the Article IV 4a) of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the 42nd session of the House of Representatives, held on 17 and 29 December 2008, and the 25th session of the House of Peoples, held on 26 February 2009, has adopted


Article 2
(The meaning of the term)

s) animals for keeping are the animals kept or raised for food production or for the production of wool, leather, fur or other economic purposes;


Article 43
(The deadline for adoption of subordinate regulations)

(5) The provision from Article 4 of the Act on the prohibition of breeding of animals for fur production will come into force in 2018.


Legislation ban:

Act on banning fox husbandry: LBK no. 469 of 15.05.2014.
Bekendtgørelse af lov om forbud mod hold af ræve: LBK nr. 469 af 15/05/2014.

Original text:

«Bekendtgørelse af lov om forbud mod hold af ræve
Herved bekendtgøres lov nr. 466 af 12. juni 2009 om forbud mod hold af ræve med de ændringer, der følger af lov nr. 378 af 15. april 2014.»


Act on banning fox husbandry: LBK no. 469 of 15.05.2014.
« Prohibition of keeping foxes

Notice is hereby given Law no. 466 of 12 June 2009 prohibiting the keeping of foxes with the changes imposed by Law no. 378 of 15 April 2014.»


Pročišćeni tekst Zakona o zaštiti životinja: Zakon o zaštiti životinja (NN 135/06), Zakon o izmjenama i dopunama Zakona o zaštiti životinja (NN 37/13), Zakon o provedbi Uredbi Europske unije o zaštiti životinja (NN 125/13).

Zakon o zaštiti životinja

Zabranjeni postupci u svrhu zaštite životinja
Članak 4. (NN 37/13, 125/13)

(1) Zabranjeno je životinje ubijati, nanositi im bol, patnju i ozljede te ih namjerno izlagati strahu, protivno odredbama ovoga Zakona.
(2) Zabranjeno je:
23. uzgajati životinje u svrhu proizvodnje krzna

Članak 66.

(1) Novčanom kaznom od 50.000,00 do 100.000,00 kn kaznit će se za prekršaj pravna osoba ako:
14. postupa protivno odredbi članka 4. stavka 2. točke 23. ovoga Zakona

Članak 72.

Ovaj Zakon stupa na snagu 1. siječnja 2007., osim /... / članka 4. stavka 2. točke 23. ovoga Zakona koji stupa na snagu 1. siječnja 2017.

Cleansed text of the Animal Protection Act: The Animal Protection Act (OG 135/06), the Act on Amendments to the Animal Protection Act (OG 37/13), the Act on the implementation of the EU Regulation on the Protection of Animals (OG 125/13).

The Animal Protection Act

Prohibited actions in order to protect animals
Article 4 (OG 37/13, 125/13)

(1) It is forbidden to kill animals, hurt them, make them suffer and injure them, and intentionally expose them to fear, contrary to the provisions of this Act.
(2) It is forbidden to:
23 raise animals for fur

Article 66

(1) A fine of 50,000.00 to 100,000.00 shall be imposed on a legal person if:
14 acts contrary to the provisions of the Article 4, paragraph 2, item 23 of this Act

Article 72

This Act shall enter into force on 1 January 2007, except / ... / Article 4, paragraph 2, item 23 of this Act which shall enter into force on 1 January 2017.


The original of the Act (in Macedonian):
More precisely the Article 4 from the Law (General provisions for treatment of animals) states that it is ''Prohibiting the possession and breeding of animals used for the production of fur, leather or feathers''.


Legislation ban:
Wet verbod pelsdierhouderij

(Law banning fur farming) of 4 January 2013

Legislation on fur farming:
Animal Health and Welfare Act of 1992

Decree of 10 December 2014 amending the Decision keepers of animals in connection with the provision of housing regulations for mink

Original text:
Wet verbod pelsdierhouderij

Artikel 2. Het houden, doden of doen doden van een pelsdier is verboden.


Law banning fur farming
«Article 2. Keeping, killing or letting to kill a fur animal is prohibited.»
«The law also contains a transitional period. This means that holders who had a mink mink farming on January 15, 2013, can still exert their business until January 1, 2024. During the transitional period, the mink holder has an obligation to keep the mink in a so-called housing location.»

Full explanation of the verdict of the National Court of Appeal in The Hague in November 2015 (English translation):

The verdict in the original language:


*Legislation on fur farming:
Ordonnance on the protection of animals and the keeping of production animals of 25.10.2001 (in the version published on August 22, 2006) (Tierschutz-Nutztierhaltungsverordnung).
Consulted on:

São Paolo

Projeto de lei Nº 616 / 2011
Transformado em Norma
Lei nº 15566 /2014
Proíbe a criação ou manutenção de qualquer animal doméstico, domesticado, nativo, exótico, silvestre ou ornamental com a finalidade de extração de peles.

Link to the adopted Act:


Zakon o zaščiti živali (uradno prečiščeno besedilo) (ZZZiv-UPB3)
1. Reja živali
15. člen
Prepovedana ravnanja so:
– reja in lov na živali zgolj zaradi pridobivanja njihovih kožuhov, kož ali perja.
45. člen
Z globo od 2.400 do 84.000 eurov se kaznuje pravna oseba ali samostojni podjetnik posameznik, ki:
5. redi ali lovi živali zgolj zaradi pridobivanja kožuhov, kož ali perja (dvaindvajseta alinea 15. člena zakona);

Complete Act:


("Sl. glasnik RS", br. 41/2009)

1. Prava i obaveze
Član 7

Zabranjeno je:
37) držanje, reprodukcija, uvoz, izvoz i lišavanje života životinje isključivo radi proizvodnje krzna i kože.

9. Kućni ljubimci

Član 57
Kućni ljubimci ne smeju se držati, reprodukovati i koristiti za:
2) ishranu, odnosno proizvodnju hrane, kože, krzna, kao i u druge komercijalne svrhe.

Član 82

Novčanom kaznom od 100.000 do 1.000.000 dinara kazniće se za prekršaj pravno lice, ako:
35) drži, reprodukuje, uvozi, izvozi i lišava života životinje isključivo radi proizvodnje krzna i kože(član 7. stav 1. tačka 37);


Član 89
Ovaj zakon stupa na snagu osmog dana od dana objavljivanja u "Službenom glasniku Republike Srbije", osim odredbe člana 7. stav 1. tačka 37) ovog zakona koja će se primenjivati počev od 1. januara 2019. godine.



( "Off. Gazette of RS", no. 41/2009)

1 The rights and obligations
Article 7

It is forbidden to:
37) keep, reproduct, import, export and killing animals solely for the production of fur and skin.

9 Pets

Article 57
Pets must not be kept, reproduced and used for:
2) nutrition, ie. food, leather, fur, and other commercial purposes.


Article 82
A fine of 100,000 to 1,000,000 dinars shall be imposed on a legal entity if:
35) holds, reproduces, imports, exports and kills animals solely for the production of fur and skin (Article 7, Paragraph 1, Item 37);

Article 89

The Act comes into force eight days after its publication in the "Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", except for the provisions of Article 7, Paragraph 1, Item 37) of this Act that will be applicable as of 1 January 2019.


Legislation on fur farming:
Animal Welfare Act 1988:534
(as last amended by SFS 2009:303
of 1 January 2010)
Animal Welfare Ordinance 1988:539
(as last amended by SFS 2008:1051
of 1 January 2009)
Species Protection Regulation;
of 8 November 2007

Animal welfare ordinance 1988 (last amended in 2009)

«(1) Foxes may only be kept in such a way as to satisfy their need to socialize with other foxes and to move, dig and otherwise occupy themselves.
(2) The Swedish Board of Agriculture may issue further regulations concerning the keeping of foxes. Ordinance (2007:484)»


Federal Act on Animal Protection of March 9. (1978). Switzerland; Bundesamt fur Veterinärwesen. (1999). Swiss regulations concerning fur farming. Letter of 14.07.1999

United Kingdom

Legislation ban:
The Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000

Legislation on fur farming:
Animal Welfare Act 2006

Original text:
"An Act to prohibit the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur; to provide for the making of payments in respect of the related closure of certain businesses; and for connected purposes."


Published: April 2016

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