Start of proceedings to ban fur farms in the Brussels-Capital Region

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — GAIA welcomes the adoption on first reading yesterday by the Council of Ministers of the Brussels-Capital Region of a proposal to ban fur farms, initiated by the State Secretary for Animal Welfare Bianca Debaets. According to an IPSOS survey carried out in 2012, 83% of residents of the Brussels Region want fur farms banned.

The proposal must still be submitted to the Conseil d’Etat and for a second reading in the Council of Ministers before being submitted for voting by the members of Parliament of the Environment sub-Committee and then to the plenary meeting of the Brussels Parliament, after which it can enter into force.

"This is the first step in a procedure which we strongly hope will lead to a ban on fur farms in the Capital Region, just as in Wallonia," said Michel Vandenbosch, President of GAIA.

"Although there is currently no fur farm located in the Brussels Region, this new law, if adopted, will ensure that no such enterprise is established."

Each year on fur farms in Belgium, more than 150,000 mink are kept in deplorable conditions and slaughtered just for their fur. All these farms - 17 in total at present – are in Flanders. The Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts, has however decided not to allow any new fur farms, or any expansion of existing farms. GAIA urges Flanders to follow the good example of Wallonia and Brussels and to also ban existing fur farms.