Mink farmers were “completely surprised” by the news that the government plans to ban mink breeding from spring next year, instead of in 2024. Wim Verhagen, chairman of the Dutch association for noble animal keepers NFE wants an explanation from Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture, he said to NOS.
On Thursday evening, sources in The Hague told Dutch media that mink farmers will have to shut down immediately after the coming fur period, which starts in November. This decision was made with the many thousands of animals in mind that had to be culled due to coronavirus outbreaks at dozens of mink farms in the Netherlands.
Well before the pandemic, the Dutch government already decided to ban mink farming in 2024, for animal welfare reasons. That ban will be accelerated.
NOS spoke to a number of mink farmers, and most of them refused to comment until more details are known. Mink breeder Joost Willems did want to express his criticism on how he heard the news. “The official who leaked this deserves a kick in the ass. This really hit us by surprise. Last night we suddenly got this news, through social media.” On the night before representatives for the mink farmers were set to meet with the Minister, he added.