Irish-American superstar, Saoirse Ronan, is the latest celebrity to add her name to an ongoing petition which urges Irish politicians to ban fur farming in the country.
Several European countries have already outlawed the practice of fur farming, including Norway. Internationally, several major cities, such as Los Angeles, have outlawed fur sales altogether. The organisers were recently celebrating the fact that “over 400 of the biggest names from the worlds of film, television, theatre, radio, sport, literature and music have united in support of a ban on Ireland’s cruel fur farming.” – Irish Council Against Blood Sports
“The list of high profile personalities, compiled by Irish actor Rachel Pilkington (who currently plays ‘Jane Black’ in Fair City), includes Oscar-nominated actors Saoirse Ronan, Ruth Negga and Stephen Rea, Oscar-nominated director Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”), Emmy award-winning director Emer Reynolds (“The Farthest”), Olympic medallist Sonia O’Sullivan, former international rugby player Alan Quinlan, musicians Sharon Shannon, Damien Dempsey, Mundy, Don Mescall, Mary Coughlan, Josh Gray and Brian Kennedy, author Cathy Kelly, comedians Deirdre O’Kane and PJ Gallagher and many, many more.”
According to a report from Compassion in World Farming, there are between 3-5 licensed mink farms in the Republic of Ireland and, between them, it is estimated that 200,000 to 225,000 mink are farmed.
In February of this year, singer Morrissey contacted the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed via PETA, calling for a ban on fur farming. In the wake of circus animals being banned in Ireland, Morrissey said that it was important for Ireland to “continue on this progressive path by also outlawing fur farming”.
“Ireland has three fur farms, on which 200,000 minks are jammed into squalid cages and denied the opportunity to roam, swim, or care for their young. This confinement causes them such psychological distress that many go insane and mutilate themselves.” – Morrissey
Speaking out against the cruelty of fur farming, Irish actress and animal rights campaigner, Rachel Pilkington added: “The practice of fur farming violates most of the ‘five freedoms’ which underpin animal welfare best practices. From the moment they are born into captivity, the intrinsic value of these sentient beings fails to be recognised. By nature, mink are semi-aquatic and solitary mammals who are denied all basic rights to expression, dignity and freedom by being confined to small cages (in groups) for the duration of their lives. They exhibit many stereotypical behaviours synonymous with stress until they are finally dragged from their cages in terror and forced into darkened, overcrowded gassing boxes to be poisoned to death by carbon monoxide gas. No amendments to the government’s current ‘code of practice’ will ever eradicate or alleviate the suffering of these animals. No amendments will ever excuse or justify it as a farming practice. Anyone who even attempts to validate such cruelty on the grounds of economic profit or gain demonstrates a rather shameful level of emotional detachment.”
While arctic and silver foxes are the main breeds used for fur, they are not currently being farmed within the country, however, fox farming continues to be legal in the Republic of Ireland.
A shift in opinion regarding fur and fur products seems to be coming from the high fashion houses, with Gucci, Versace, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren all abandoning the acquisition and sale of fur within their ranges.
If the demand isn’t there anymore, why bother maintaining the supply?