Ban on foie gras and fur production in Flanders from 2023

The breeding of animals for their fur and the force feeding of geese in order to produce foie gras will become illegal from 2023. The Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts (nationalist) made in the announcement earlier today. Mr Weyts told VRT News that "Killing animal for their fur is something from a different age. The same applies to making animals ill by literally ramming food down their throats”.  

Currently there are 17 fur farms in Flanders, where a total of 200,000 animals a year are killed for their fur. These will all have to close and the one producer of foie gras in our regent will have to start producing something else or close. The measures to end fur farming and the production of foie gras in Flanders are contained in a new bill that was given the green light during the marathon meeting of the Flemish cabinet on Friday/Saturday.  

Bans on fur farming are already in force in Wallonia and the Brussels Capital Region. The bans are largely symbolic as there weren’t any fur farms in either regions when the bans were introduced. However foie gras production is still allowed in Wallonia.

A transitional period

The fur farms and foie gras producers will have until 2023 to either cease or change their activities. In the meantime they will have to comply with a list of regulations and restrictions. These include a ban on them moving or expanding. The farms will be given compensation for them having to close, but the sum will decrease as time goes on between now and 2023.

Mr Weyts calls the measures “a great step forward for Flanders”.  

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