- Daily & Weekly newsletters
- Buy & download The Bulletin
- Comment on our articles
Flanders' only foie gras producer and 11 fur farms to close
Eleven of the 16 fur farms in Flanders and the region's only producer of foie gras have announced that they are to close down, Flemish minister of animal welfare Ben Weyts has announced.
As part of an agreement to assist in the gradual phasing out of activities, financial compensation will be granted. From April, this premium will decrease over time in order to convince the companies still active to close as quickly as possible. By the end of 2023, in line with a government order, all these companies must close their doors for good.
From April, financial compensation for fur farm owners will be reduced by 10%. In April 2022, the premium will be further reduced by an additional 10%, and by the same margin again in April 2023.
"The remaining fur farms will be much less compensated, but that is their choice," Weyts said. "I urge them to stop today rather than tomorrow. It's better for them financially and, most importantly, it's better for the animals."
"Fur farming is still profitable, but in Flanders we decided that animal welfare was more important," Weyts said. "Killing animals just for their fur or through force-feeding is now an obsolete practice."
After the request to cease activity, a commission will determine the value of the company concerned. Based on this estimate, an amount of compensation will be set for the cessation of operations or the conversion to another type of farm.
Animal breeding for fur production has been banned in since 2015 in the Walloon region and since 2017 in the Brussels-Capital region, but each was a symbolic ban since no fur farm is established in Wallonia or Brussels. Force-feeding, a practice used in the production of foie gras, is not forbidden in Wallonia.