Days are numbered for Norway's fur farms


by Pierre-Henry Deshayes,

June 6, 2019


Baby minks, their skin still smooth and furless, snuggle up against one another under a pile of hay, letting out the occasional squeal: this sight will soon be a thing of the past at Norway's fur farms.


The Norwegian parliament is due this month to adopt new legislation immediately banning any new fur farms and requiring existing ones to be dismantled by February 1, 2025.


Hailed by animal rights' activists, the ban has been slammed by Norway's 200 or so fur farmers: it is often a side business for them but a very lucrative one.


"It represents about 70 percent of my income," says Kristian Aasen, as he inspects his 6,000 minks on the highlands of Brumunddal in southeastern Norway.


"I can't make a living off my farm without the fur," laments the 39-year-old, whose main business is his 20 heads of cattle.


He is surrounded by dozens of metal cages housing female minks, agitated and worried about their offspring born in late April and early May.


For now, the newborns look like large worms that squeal.


But by early November, they will have developed their glossy winter coats, either brown, black or grey, for which they are so keenly desired... and for which they will be gassed and skinned.


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