The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Ban on fur farming and foie gras production gets closer

20:02 31/12/2018

A draft law banning fur farming has been approved by the Flemish government. If endorsed next year by the Flemish Parliament, the law will require the region’s 17 fur farms to close by the end of 2023.

The law also bans the forced feeding of animals, for instance to produce foie gras pâté. This will affect one producer in the region.

According to animal welfare minister Ben Weyts, the law will allow Flanders to rid itself of two outdated farming practices. “Killing animals simply for their pelts is no longer acceptable in the present day,” he said. “The same goes for methods in which animals have food forcibly rammed down their throats.”

The 17 fur farms in Flanders presently kill more than 200,000 animals each year for their pelts.

The draft law foresees a transition period until the end of 2023, in which farmers and food producers using these methods must comply with a series of conditions and limitations. For example, they will no longer be allowed to move their operations or expand their activities. They can also work only with the species they already hold.

Compensation is available for the producers concerned, but this will diminish as the 2023 deadline approaches. This is to encourage them to cease their activities sooner rather than later.

Fur farming was banned in Wallonia in 2015 and in the Brussels Region in 2017. In both cases this was a symbolic decision, since no fur farms were active in these regions at the time.

“We have to be careful about using the word ‘historic’, but this is a huge step forward for Flanders,” Weyts said. “We are saying goodbye to a profitable industry because we, as a community, attach more value to animal welfare. This is something of which we can be very proud.”

Photo: iStock / Getty Images Plus

Written by Flanders Today