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Czech MPs want to ban fur farms

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Prague, March 3 (CTK) – Twenty deputies from various parties will submit a bill to ban fur farms in the Czech Republic, they told reporters on Thursday.

Under the draft legislation, new fur farms could not be opened as of 2017 and the existing ones would be shut down by the end of 2018. The ban would not apply to rabbits that are not primarily bred for fur, the MPs said.

The lower house agriculture committee rejected a similar proposal last year.

At present nine farms are run in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.5 million.

“To breed and kill animals primarily for the purpose of gaining fur is hardly acceptable in the 21st century. Not to mention the fact that the conditions of keeping these animals in captivity do not correspond to the ethology of the bred species at all,” deputy Robin Boehnisch (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.

He added that the species such as the American mink or the red fox cannot be domesticated successfully.

The proposal was signed by MPs from the CSSD, the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) and TOP 09 as well as Dawn deputy Marek Cernoch and unaffiliated Jaroslav Holik. Four ANO deputies said they would join it, too.

Under a decree, the Agriculture Ministry would pay a one-off financial contribution to the fur farms that would have to be closed.

The breeding of fur animals is banned in Austria, Britain, Croatia, the Netherlands and Slovenia.

In the Czech Republic, minks and foxes are most often bred for fur. Some 20,000 of them are killed a year.

However, the number of fur farms in the country has long been decreasing. There were 26 of them in 2000, while now only nine are operating, according to the veterinary statistics.

The farms are closed mainly for economic reasons, but also because of the activists’ protests.

Vets have checked up the animals twice a year since 2013.

“The State Veterinary Administration found no shortcomings or violations of law during the checks in 2015,” its spokesman Petr Pejchal told CTK.

Most Czechs do not agree with the breeding of animals for fur, according to polls. Besides, many people disagree with testing detergents on animals as well as the use of wild animals in circuses.

According to a CVVM poll from late November, more than three-quarters of Czechs share the opinion that the present society could do without genuine fur fashion products.

The Chamber of Deputies agriculture committee unanimously agreed last autumn that the conditions of fur animals would not change and the current legislation was sufficient. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL) turned to the committee since the activists asked him to prepare an amendment to ban the breeding of fur animals.

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