Belgium says ‘no’ to animal fur
9 out of 10 in favor of legal ban on fur farming
Brussels, 22 February 2012 – A study carried out by research bureau Ipsos on behalf of GAIA (Global Action in the Interest of Animals) has shown that nearly 9 out of 10 Belgians (86%) speak out in favor of a legal ban on fur farming. This number is almost identical in Flanders, Brussels and in Wallonia. Even across the party-political divide, Belgium is emphatically opposed to rearing animals for their fur.
These high percentages ‘against’ animal fur are not new. Ipsos research dating back to 2009 produced about the same remarkable results: then too, 9 Belgians out of 10 (85%) were in favor of a legal closure of farms where animals are purely, or in first instance, reared for their fur. The Belgians, therefore, seem steadfast in their opinion.
Closure of Belgian mink farms is the only right answer
The appalling conditions these animals are kept in could therefore only have swayed a limited number of respondents in favor of a formal ban since research also shows that only 3 Belgians out of 10 realize that mink are locked up in small cages for their fur. Only 2 out of 10 Belgians know that mink are killed at eight months through gassing.
No as a matter of principle
The majority of respondents have spoken out in favor of a legal ban based on a ‘no’ on principle: they oppose the practice of killing animals purely or mainly for their fur, irrespective of whether or not the living conditions of the animals were to improve. The poll shows that 82% of respondents consider it a problem that animals are reared and killed for the sake of producing fur coats.
According to Michel Vandenbosch, GAIA Chairman:
‘The overall majority of Belgians want to see fur farming banned in our country. That was the case in 2004, in 2009 and is still the case today. Not so much so because of the bad living conditions in which the animals are being held in captivity but because people cannot condone animals being killed for their fur and being turned into fur coats. Surely you would expect our Belgian Members of Parliament to listen to the people they are representing and follow the example of Great Britain and Austria, where fur farming has already been banned. That would be the only appropriate response to the results of the poll.’
Low percentage of people owning fur coats
The Ipsos poll also shows that only 7% of the respondents own a fur coat or know somebody who does. Most of the people owning fur coats are over 55. 4% of the respondents claim to own a piece of clothing in which fur is used in the collar or sleeves.