Animal rights activists and the fur farming industry itself said they welcome the government’s decision to finally appoint a commission to study fur farming and whether it should be shut down or allowed to continue in Norway. “This has been promised for a long time, so it’s positive that something is finally happening,” said Siri Martinsen of NOAH, an animal rights organization.
The decision to appoint a commission has been negotiated between two government ministries led by politicians on either side of the issue. The ministry for agriculture and food is led by the farmer- and fur-industry-friendly Center Party while the environmental ministry is led by the Socialist Left party (SV), which has long criticized fur farming because of those who neglect their animals or house them in terrible conditions. Repeated instances of animal abuse have been documented by the animal rights activists, but the industry has blamed the trouble on rogue players amongst them.
Now the commission will study the prospects for either sustainable development or managed shutdown of the industry. There are around 270 fur farmers in Norway and their ethics have been debated for years both within the government and the population in general. Conclusions are due June 30 of next year.