Fur farms face shutdown over next three years

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The Government was today publishing a Bill which will ban fur farming by the end of 2002.

The Government was today publishing a Bill which will ban fur farming by the end of 2002.

The UK's remaining 13 fur farms, all in England, currently slaughter around 100,000 mink for fur each year.

Farmers will receive compensation, although the amount has yet to be decided.

Today Agriculture Minister Elliot Morley explained why the Government was so determined to press ahead with the Bill, unveiled in last week's Queen's Speech.

"We did give an undertaking that we would phase out fur farming, and indeed although there's only mink farming at the present time, it's still legal to farm other animals like Arctic fox ... so I think it is important that we do take a decision to end fur farming in this country," said Mr Morley.

"If we don't legislate, even if they all declined and eventually closed, in the future there would be nothing to stop another one opening."

Compensation would be determined on a farm by farm basis, dependent on their size and assets, he said.

Fur farming was particularly intensive. "It's an intensive method of farming with battery cages ... so it is a kind of farming that many people find unacceptable.

"Many people find it morally unacceptable because it's just for fur, and you don't really have to farm animals for this reason," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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