Estonia becomes the 14th European nation to ban fur farming following years of campaigning by local animal welfare groups to get the ban done.
Estonia has become the first Baltic state to ban fur farming.
The Estonian parliament voted on its animal welfare bill and 55 out of 101 members favoured the ban.
The news follows efforts by local animal rights organisations, such as Nähtamatud Loomad and Loomus, that have been raising awareness of the cruel fur industry, organising protests, launching petitions, and lobbying for the ban for many years.
The decision also reflects the will of Estonian citizens. According to a 2020 report, 75% of people living in Estonia are against breeding animals for fur.
Declining fur industry
Amendments to the existing Animal Protection Act and Nature Conservation Act, will now illegalize the breeding and keeping of animals in farms where fur production is the sole or main purpose.
It comes into force on 1 January 2026, which means all fur farms in Estonia will have to shut down by then.
According to MEP Yoko Alender, the sector has already been in steady decline over the past few years. He told Just Style that only about 1,000 animals and 11 people at present are occupied in this industry.
Loomus reported that the biggest fur farm in Estonia Balti Karusnahk AS that used to house about 160 000 animals is now empty.
‘First Baltic state to ban fur farms’
“We have been working for this for years and we are extremely pleased that Estonia became the first Baltic state to ban fur farms,” Annalisa Post, head of communications of animal welfare organisation Loomus, said.
“With this decision, we are setting an example both for neighbouring countries and in the wider world.
“No animal should suffer for human vanity and we are grateful to the members of the Riigikogu (Estonia’s parliament) for making an animal-friendly decision.”
‘Turn its back on cruel and unnecessary fur trade’
Commenting on the news, Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/United Kingdom, said: “We celebrate with Estonia today, as it becomes the first Baltic country to ban cruel fur farming, and we congratulate local animal welfare groups on their years of campaigning to get the ban done.
“This victory provides further affirmation that caging, electrocuting, and gassing animals just to make bobble hats is a business that is on borrowed time.
“We hope that politicians in nearby Finland and Poland are inspired not to get left behind as Europe turns its back on the cruel and unnecessary fur trade.”
Estonia is the 14th European country after Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom, in establishing fur farming bans.
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