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Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland
Fur

Minister Coveney doesn't like fur farming but he's not banning it

In an exclusive interview with TheJournal.ie, Coveney also said that his department will be cracking down on dog fighting and introducing a strict code for bloodsports.

MINISTER SIMON COVENEY has said that while he’s not a fan of the fur farming industry, he stands by his recent decision not to ban it in Ireland.

Coveney told TheJournal.ie in an interview this week that instead of an all out ban that would effectively force the five farms in Ireland to shut down, his department is introducing a “new and increased inspection regime” and a code of conduct.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that this isn’t an industry that I like, on a personal level, but that doesn’t meant I should be banning it,” he said.

“I think in a lot of intensive farming situations whether it’s poultry, whether it’s fur farming, the focus really should be on maintaining welfare standards, maintaining stocking rate levels that are acceptable within cages, ensuring that animals are put down in a way that is as painless as possible and that’s the approach we’re taking.”

The Minister also said that closing down farms here would just result in fur production being transferred elsewhere and that “doing it well in Ireland” is the best approach.

(Video: © TheJournal.ie)

When asked if he found it difficult to balance economic considerations with animal rights issues, Covney responded that “the honest answer to that is yes”.

However the Minister said that he is proud of the animal welfare legislation that was passed in May which he believes will “root out and end things like dog fighting in Ireland which is an awful sort of barbaric activity”.

People gather together in a barn or a garage somewhere and they breed dogs to rip each other apart. Until very recently, if the guards raided a dog fight, everybody just scattered and nobody could be prosecuted because nobody said they owned the dogs. Now it’ll be illegal to actually attend a dog fight so anybody who;s there can be prosecuted, fined heavily and in come cases imprisoned.

Coveney added that his department will also be introducing codes of conduct in relation to bloodsports to “ensure that when linked to hunting for example, when a fox is dug out of the ground, that there’s a code that has to be abided by”.

- Camera by Sinead O’Carroll.

Read: Gardaí investigating complaint about ‘almost dead’ hares released back into wild>
Read: Two puppies beaten and thrown over 10-foot wall in Portlaoise>

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