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Fur real Farmers to be compensated as part of proposals to ban fur farming in Ireland

The ban will include a prohibition on other animals including cats, chinchillas, dogs, foxes, mink and weasels and stoats being farmed for their fur or skin

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Mink look out from a pen on a farm.

Mink look out from a pen on a farm.

Mink look out from a pen on a farm.

A compensation scheme for farmers will be part of proposals to ban fur farming in Ireland from early 2022, under proposals going to Cabinet this morning. 

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue will seek cabinet approval to implement a prohibition on animals including mink, cats, chinchillas, dogs, foxes, mink and weasels and stoats being farmed for their fur or skin.

It's estimated there are around 120,000 mink on three farms based in counties Laois, Donegal and Kerry.

Farmers will be compensated for closing down their operations with asset value, earnings, redundancy payments and demolition fees to be considered in the package.

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

The commitment around mink farming is in the programme for government, but was expedited after concerns were raised about Covid cases in mink in other countries.

In November 2020 the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, advised the culling of mink over fears of a variant of Covid-19 linked to the animals.

Those concerns led to health officials recommending a cull of tens of thousands of mink on Irish farms, although it ultimately did not go ahead.

The prohibition on fur farming provisions will be provided for in an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.

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