Despite the signing into law of a bill last April to prohibit the farming of animals for their fur or skin, the legislation to impose that has yet to be enacted.

During a debate this week in the Seanad on animal welfare, the Green Party called on the government and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to “commence all sections of the Animal Health and Welfare and Forestry (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Act 2022″.

Contained in this act is the provision to prohibit the farming of animals for skin and fur.

Senator Pauline O’Reilly, who moved the motion, expressed frustration that this has not yet happened.

“I was frustrated at the delay in passing that bill,” she said.

“It was passed by both houses and the legislation hasn’t been commenced yet. That is why it was critical to have this [debate] before summer recess.”

Three farms that breed and rear mink for the purpose of pelting for the fur industry, are impacted by this animal health act.

The banning of this type of farming puts Ireland in line with similar legislation being implemented across Europe.

“The bill, which we have all agreed to, needs to commence so that we can get on with the business of compensating these farmers and the small number of workers, but, critically, ending fur farming, which has been shown not to be humane in any way, shape or form. It is banned in other parts of the world and Ireland is lagging behind,” Senator O’Reilly said.

Addressing the issue, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Pippa Hackett, stated that commencing the act is “certainly one we will be examining”.

She told the Seanad that she had been advised that negotiations with the affected farmers, and their representatives, are ongoing.

“While the exact date from which fur farming will be permanently shut down has not been finalised, I am advised by my officials that this matter will be resolved in the coming weeks, such that a ban can come into effect.”