The ban on mink breeding has been lifted in Denmark, and the first animals have arrived at farms in the country. The government introduced the ban in 2020 after it killed 17 million mink over fears of the animals spreading coronavirus.
After a two-year ban, Denmark announced mink farming would be allowed again from January 2023. Iceland sent 2,000 mink to Denmark to create a new breeding population. Mink from Finland, Poland and Spain will also be sent to Denmark.
Animal welfare organizations supported the ban in 2020 but added that the industry should be banned “solely considering the animals’ welfare.”
“For the government, it has only been about public health when it comes to the question of mink breeding in Denmark,” Agriculture Minister Rasmus Prehn said earlier in a statement.
Before all mink were killed in 2020, mink farming was a major industry in Denmark, with over 1,200 mink farms in the country. These farms were responsible for producing a big part of the world’s mink fur used in clothing and other luxury goods.
But the industry has faced criticism from animal rights activists, because of the conditions in which mink are kept. The animals are kept in small wired cages their whole life.
In addition to concerns over animal welfare, mink farming has also been criticized for its environmental impact. Mink farms can produce large amounts of waste and pollutants, harming local ecosystems and water sources.
In August, the Copenhagen Fashion Week, which takes place in the capital of Denmark, was fur-free for the first time. Other famous fashion weeks like Helsinki, Oslo and Amsterdam have already banned fur.