Italy has approved an amendment to a budget law that will close the ten mink farms in the country and ban any future fur farming. This decision came after discussions with the Humane Society International who have petitioned for closing fur farms and turning the land into human and sustainable businesses. Since this amendment has come into effect, Italy has become the sixteenth country in Europe to ban fur farming.
“There are very clear economic, environmental, public health and of course animal welfare reasons to close and ban fur farms,” said Martina Pluda, the director of Humane Society International in Italy. “Today’s vote recognizes that allowing the mass breeding of wild animals for frivolous fur fashion represents a risk to both animals and people that can’t be justified by the limited economic benefits it offers to a small minority of people involved in this cruel industry.” 
Italy Bans All Mink Fur Farms
Therefore, all fur farms in Italy must close by June 30, 2022. According to the Human Society International, this ban includes fur breeding of minks, raccoon dogs, chinchillas, and foxes. As these businesses transition, fur farmers will be paid €3 million by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2022.
Fur had become a status symbol in the fashion world in the 1970s and 1980s. However, animal rights organizations have protested this style until it has slowly fallen out of favor. In fact, today many major brands like Valentino, Prada, Armani, Versace, and Gucci have eliminated fur from their collections. Additionally, retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue no longer sell clothes made from this material.
“With so many designers, retailers, and consumers going fur-free, conversion of fur farms offers people a sustainable future that the fur trade simply cannot provide,” Pluda said
Additionally, other countries have passed even more stringent fur bans. For instance, Israel became the first country to ban selling animal hides gained from cruel methods. 
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Breeding Fur and Disease
Moreover, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic had further pushed fur out of style. Many mink farms in Europe reported traces of the virus in the animals’ fur. This led to a mass killing of mink and an industry shut down to protect public health. Therefore, the European Food Safety Agency stated that all mink farms can be considered risks for future outbreaks. This incident brought to light the public health risk of the battery cage system used in fur breeding. The cramped conditions, disease, injuries, poor hygiene, stress, and lack of veterinary care are ideal for breeding, not just fur, but deadly viruses for humans. Furthermore, the terrible conditions cause immense suffering for the animals trapped inside. 
Additionally, breeding animals for fur is bad for the environment. It’s an unsustainable practice that is inefficient and consumes high amounts of energy. Plus, it requires heavily toxic chemicals to treat the fur and leather to prevent it from naturally rotting. The species used for fur are often over-produced, in the case of mink and raccoon dogs, and are now considered invasive species. Meanwhile, other animals that are usually caught by traps are classified as endangered or threatened species; this includes mountain lions, deer, and birds.
A Victory For Animal Rights
Fortunately, the new ban in Italy shows a lot of hope for ending this cruel industry. “In thirty years of animal rights battle this is the best victory. Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity,” said Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla, president of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights in Italy.
“Italy is the 20th European country to introduce a ban or severe restriction on fur farming: better late than never. Now we await the final approval of the budget law, but the political will has been clearly expressed. A dream comes true that animal protection associations have cultivated for decades in our country… It is a great achievement, which finally all those who love and respect animals rejoice!” 
- “Italy Votes to Ban Fur Farming and Shut Down Mink Farms.” Eco Watch. December 24, 2021.
- “NEW ERA OF HIGH FASHION: ITALY VOTES TO SHUT DOWN FUR FARMING.” Veg News. Anna Starostinetskaya. December 21, 2021.
- “THINK FUR IS GREEN? THINK AGAIN!” Four Paws. Elise Burgess. November 8, 2021.
- “In an historic vote, Italy to ban fur farming and shut down all mink farms within six months.” Humane Society International. December 21, 2021.