1 Aug

labour party will support ban on fur farming

The Labour Party has today announced that it “WILL SUPPORT legislation to ban fur farming in Ireland”.

In a statement, party leader Brendan Howlin said: “The Labour Party recognises that there is widespread public concern about fur farming and the conditions in which otherwise wild animals are kept in this industry. Labour supports a ban on fur farming in Ireland.”

Acknowledging that “a growing number of countries have banned or highly restricted fur farming” across the European Union and European Economic Area, he added: “We note that where fur farming has been highly regulated, such as in Switzerland, the industry has ceased to operate. This suggests that it may not be economically feasible for the industry to operate to those higher standards. Some will argue that it is better to have the industry in Ireland, where it is somewhat regulated, rather than see it move abroad to countries with lower levels of animal protection. However, this argument could be made about many quality standards and the Irish Government can only regulate what happens in our jurisdiction.”

Deputy Howlin said his party would push for replacement jobs for those working on the three remaining fur farms – “Labour notes the potential impact on rural jobs. As part of phasing out fur farming, Labour would seek to increase investment in the rural economy to support the development of alternative jobs for workers affected by a ban on the fur industry.”

A big thank you to Brendan Howlin and the Labour Party for this positive response and to everyone who contacted the party. Our attention now turns to Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael (scroll down for more information on how all three previously supported a ban on fur farming).


Please contact your TDs and urge them to support Solidarity’s upcoming Prohibition of Fur Farming Bill 2018. Contact details for TDs can be found at

Email “Please support a ban on cruel fur farming” to Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael:

More party contact details –

Find out more about Solidarity’s Bill at

Join us in urging Minister Michael Creed and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to put in place a long overdue ban on fur farming.

Email “Ban fur farming NOW” to,,,

Tel: +353 (0)1 6194000 (Leo Varadkar)
Tel: 01-607 2000 or LoCall 1890-200510 (Michael Creed)
Tweet: @campaignforleo @creedcnw Ban fur farming NOW
Comment on Facebook:

Sign and share our petition – Ban fur farming in Ireland


ICABS footage – Victims of Ireland’s cruel far farming

NARA footage showing caged mink in a fur farm in Donegal

Mink pulled from cages and thrown into gassing box


In June 2018, Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Kenny TD (Sligo-Leitrim) asked the Agriculture Minister about “the rationale behind continued licensing of fur farming here in view of the animal cruelty involved in caging mink in confined spaces without access to water although they are aquatic animals” and “if he has considered banning this activity”.

In 2005, Sinn Fein voted in favour of the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill (which was defeated by 67 votes to 50). Speaking during a Dail debate, Martin Ferris TD stated: “I wish to indicate my support, and that of my party, for this Bill. Sinn Féin also supported the extension of the British ban on fur farming when it was voted on in the Northern Assembly. I commend Deputy Boyle and the Green Party for having taken this initiative, which I welcome. It is unacceptable that what are essentially wild animals should be reared and killed simply to supply the demand of a relatively small number of people for clothes made from their hides…They are kept in cramped conditions and are killed in a cruel manner to ensure their pelts are not damaged. The common practice is to gas or electrocute them…The argument that fur farms provide a valuable economic asset does not stand up. The value of exports is around €1.5 million and few people are employed by such farms. Therefore, the argument that fur farming provides employment or is of great benefit to the economy is false.”


In a coalition government with the Green Party, Fianna Fail in 2009 agreed to a ban on fur farming. A 3-year phase-out of fur farming was included in the Green Party/Fianna Fail programme for government. However, due to the government subsequently collapsing, this ban unfortunately never materialised.

In April 2017, Fianna Fail TD Seán Haughey (Dublin Bay North) asked the Minister for Agriculture “if he will consider revoking licences” for fur farming.

In 2013, current Fianna Fail TD Stephen Donnelly (then a Social Democrats TD) supported an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw fur farming.


In 2005, Fine Gael (when in opposition), voted in favour of the Green Party’s Fur Farming (Prohibition) Bill which attempted to bring the cruel practice to an end. Fine Gael TDs – including the now Tanaiste Simon Coveney and sitting TDs Richard Bruton, Bernard Durkan, Damien English, Paul Kehoe, Enda Kenny and David Stanton – all voted in favour of the proposed legislation. Sadly, the bill was defeated by 67 votes to 50, with 62 Fianna Fail TDs voting against it.

In government following the collapse of the Fianna Fail/Green Party government in 2011, Fine Gael scrapped the phasing out of fur farming, with then Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney stating: “I don’t think it’s any secret that this isn’t an industry that I like, on a personal level, but that doesn’t mean I should be banning it.”

In 2013, Fine Gael voted AGAINST an amendment to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill which sought to outlaw fur farming.

In June 2017, Fine Gael TD Noel Rock (Dublin North West) asked Agriculture Minister Michael Creed “his plans to ban fur farming here” and “if rescinding the licences of the remaining fur farms will be considered”.

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