The Netherlands will close all mink fur farms by March 2021, two and a half years ahead of schedule, since the original plan was to cease operations by 2023.

The Dutch government voted to close all the remaining mink farms in the country after a COVID-19 outbreak in 41 of the estimated 120 farms. The new ban will not allow breeders to restock their animals, and the Dutch government plans to purchase all the mink farms for $212 million over the next six months.

“We welcome the decision from the Dutch government, which couldn’t have come a day sooner," says Kitty Block, president, and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. "The pandemic has been a grim reminder that we need to change how we treat animals, especially those who are confined in small spaces on fur farms, factory farms, and wildlife markets," she adds.

“All eyes are now on other fur-producing nations, including the United States, Denmark, and Spain, where mink on fur farms have also tested positive for the virus. With consumers, retailers, and designers turning away from fur, there is no reason for any country to continue supporting a commodity that’s associated more with animal cruelty and less with fashion.”

The fashion industry is having a breakthrough since many high-end designers like Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada, Valentino, and more choose vegan alternatives to make leather and fur products. In fact, Marco Bizzarri, Chief Executive and President of Gucci said of using animal materials,  “I don’t think it’s still modern,” when they decided to ban fur back in 2018.

In addition, Macy’s, the department store powerhouse banned fur in October of 2019, the biggest company in the US to ban fur products. Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. said, “Over the past two years, we have been closely following consumer and brand trends, listening to our customers and researching alternatives to fur. We’ve listened to our colleagues, including direct feedback from our Go Green Employee Resource Group, and we have met regularly on this topic with the Humane Society of the United States and other NGOs."

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