Fur farmers in Norway may soon feel the pinch as the government recently announced a proposal to cut subsidies to these controversial farms. A cut of 17.8 million kroner ($2.35 million US) worth of agricultural subsidies that go directly to fur farmers is being proposed – approximately half of the total aid to that industry in Norway. But some in the country are pushing back, saying that the cuts could threaten the local economy.
According to the Norwegian Fur Breeders’ Association, Norway has 280 fox and mink fur farms that make more than a million kroner each. These farms create jobs and advance economic growth in some of the country’s most remote places. “If it is maintained, this proposal is very badly thought out,” Guri Wormdahl, spokeswoman for the Norwegian Fur Breeders’ Association told AFP.
Half of the farms would be threatened by the subsidy cuts. “This will mean fewer nurseries and hospices in rural districts. It’s a policy that takes a short-term view,” Wormdahl said. Animal rights groups have been critical of the conditions of animals in fur farms and predictably they welcomed the proposal, which is up for negotiation with Norway’s agricultural trade groups.
“Fur farms are presented as the most profitable farming sector but they still demand tens of millions of kroner in special aid,” said Live Kleveland from the Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals in a statement. Most furs from Norway are exported. She added that 68 percent of the population wants to get rid of fur farms and do not want their taxes to pay for this controversial sector of agriculture.
Images via Four Paws International