At present there are seventeen mink farms across Flanders. They produce 200,000 furs each and every year. Wallonia and Brussels, where no mink farms remained, banned the practice last year.
Government parties have discussed a ban, but failed to strike a deal. In recent days the Flemish Christian democrats have shifted their position and are now arguing in favour of a closure starting 1 January 2017 and financial compensation for owners.
Spokesman for the industry Marnix Van Laecke: "There are 17 licensed businesses. Nobody wants to close down. If we have to stop, the minister will have to organise a buy-out."