Prague, Aug 17 (CTK) – Activists from the group OBRAZ (Defenders of Animals) yesterday installed a cage outside the Czech Agriculture Ministry in which they will be staying until Friday night, rotating after eight hours, to protest against fur farms, organiser Daniel Cao has told CTK.
In all, 20 people will be alternately in the cage, Cao said, adding that at the weekend, the demonstrators wanted to move to Wenceslas Square.
In the past months, the Agriculture Ministry discussed the issue both with animal protectors and representatives of farms. The ministry expressed the view that the existence or regulation of the farms was an expert question.
The activists say Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (Christian Democrats, (KDU-CSL) has promised to come up with a clear stand by the end of the summer holidays.
“Since in his decision-making he should not forget that the fate of thousands of animals suffering over unnecessary fashionable accessories is in his hands, at the entry to the ministry, he will be meeting activists in a cage that, if converted to the size of a human, corresponds with a typical cage for a fox,” Cao said.
“We are always ready to offer a place in it to him to try how life in it feels like,” he added.
“The Agriculture Ministry is not ready to decide based on the pressure of any lobbying organisation,” Agriculture Ministry spokesman Hynek Jordan has told journalists.
“It will try to find a compromise acceptable both to the fur breeders and the animal protection groups,” Jordan said.
He said the business of fur farms was legal and legitimate, having similar conditions as in other European countries.
“Since an official ban would cause economic losses to the businesspeople, there would be the risk of charges over frustration of investment being lodged by the fur breeders,” Hynek said.
Cao denounced the incident from Velky Ratmirov, south Bohemia, last week in which activists sprayed the minks with a reflective dye.
Due to the shock, some of the animals died.
Cao said this might be a provocation in order to harm the work of real animal protectors.
Activists criticise the fact that there are 11 fur farms breeding foxes, minks and chinchillas in the Czech Republic.
They say the animals live in bad conditions in bare wired cages.
The number of the killed fur animals is not available as it is not officially registered.
Fur breeders say some 10,000-13,000 minks are killed annually in the Czech Republic.