Norway is set to become the 14th European nation to prohibit fur farming, according to Humane Society International (HSI).
Prime Minister (PM) Erna Solberg said Norway will shutter all fox and mink farms, as part of a deal with the anti-fur Liberal Party, by 2025. Solberg's administration made the decision following a pact with the party, that will now join her two-party minority government.
The Norwegian Fur Breeders Association (NFBA) listed nearly 250 fox and mink farms, with an annual turnover of between $44-$63 million. PM Solberg expressed that the farms employ about 400 people and observed strict rules governing the treatment of animals.
According to a government report, Fox farming peaked in 1939, just before the second World War, when Norway was the biggest world producer with almost 20,000 farms.
But, by 2013, the Norwegian fox fur production fell to 3 percent and mink to 1 percent globally.
"It's not a very lucrative business in Norway," said Sveinung Fjose, of Menon Business Economics. "It wouldn't harm the Norwegian economy severely" to close it down.
Additionally, animal welfare organizations welcome the news.
“We are thrilled to see such an unequivocal pledge from the Norwegian government to ban all fur farming,” said Ruud Tombrock, executive director of Humane Society International's Europe branch.
“We also hope that Norway’s fur farmers will decide to dismantle their businesses before the phase-out deadline. Factory farming wild animals for fur in appallingly deprived conditions is unconscionably cruel, so to see a ban on this dreadful trade in a Scandinavian country is truly historic.”
The Animal Defenders International charity has been a prominent advocate within the anti-fur movement, claiming it results in the death of more than 110 million animals annually.