Norway’s ban on fur farming comes as surprise in Newfoundland and elsewhere

News out of Norway that its government plans to phase out fur farming in that country by 2025 has caught a lot of people connected to the industry by surprise.

Even when the idea was bandied about in the last year or so, most thought it would never come to fruition in a country long known for its defence of farmed and wild-hunt animal industries.

Merv Wiseman, vice-president of the Fur Breeders Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, admits it’s a big win for animal-rights groups that have been actively campaigning in Europe.

“Norway was the last place on Earth we expected to see that (animal-rights groups) would make those kind of inroads,” Wiseman said. “There was a significant amount of production coming out of Norway when they started to look into phasing this out.”

Fur Europe, a Brussels-based umbrella organization covering the entire chain of the European fur sector, calls the ban a result of “a political horse trade” to include an anti-fur party in Norway’s new government despite an expert committee recommending the sustainable development of fur farming in Norway.

A statement on its website reads, “The political programme of the new Norwegian government formed between the Conservatives, the Liberals and the Progress Party contains the phasing out of fur farming in Norway by 2025. Both Conservatives and the Progress Party have historically supported the fur farming sector, but agreed to shut down the Norwegian fur farming sector as a part of a deal to broaden the two-party minority government by adding the anti-fur Liberal party.”

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