Social Democrats TD for Wicklow, Jennifer Whitmore, has called for an immediate ban on mink farming in Ireland following the emergence of a new strain of Covid-19 relating to the industry in Europe and the US.
Deputy Whitmore, who is the party’s spokesperson for Climate Action and Biodiversity, said:
“There have always been ethical and environmental reasons to ban mink farming. However, now that a Covid-19 variant has been detected on mink farms in six countries, we need to act urgently to ban this practice on public health grounds.
“It is a matter of deep concern that Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy and the US have all identified a strain of the virus on mink farms. It is vital that enhanced inspections are carried out by the Department of Agriculture on mink farms in Ireland to identify any potential risks.
“The Programme for Government 2020 contains a clear commitment regarding the prohibition of fur farming. Department officials have said they are currently preparing the appropriate draft heads of a Bill to facilitate the achievement of this objective with a view to it being published by 2021 – this is far too late given the heightened urgency of the situation.
“There are three large mink farms operating in Laois, Donegal and Kerry, which produce approximately 110,000 pelts per annum. This industry must be banned immediately and we need to see an urgent transition out of existing mink farms.”
November 11, 2020