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Fur farmers to receive between €4m to €8m in compensation as Cabinet approves ban

There are approximately 120,000 mink on three farms in counties Laois, Donegal and Kerry.

Image: Shutterstock/Lynsey Grosfield

CABINET HAS APPROVED legislation that will ban fur farming in Ireland as well as establishing a compensation scheme for fur farmers that will be forced to close.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue brought the memo today in relation to the Animal Health and Welfare (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The commitment to prohibit the breeding of mink solely for their fur is in the programme for Government.

The issue was highlighted in November 2020 when the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan advised the culling of mink in the country over fears of a variant of Covid-19 linked to the animals.

At the time, staff at the Irish farms were tested and there was no detection of the variant strain linked to the animals. 

There are approximately 120,000 mink on three farms in counties Laois, Donegal and Kerry.

The three farmers will be compensated for the closing down their business with aspects including asset value, earnings, redundancy payments and demolition fees to be considered in the package.

It is understood there is package in the range of €4m to €8m in place for 2022.

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The approval of the amendment today approves the ban, which will also include the provision that cats, chinchillas, dogs, foxes, mink and weasels (including stoats) shall not be farmed for their fur or skin.

The prohibition is not expected to begin until early in 2022 allowing the farmers to see out the 2021 season.

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