Hungary is the latest country to ban the fur farming of mink, foxes, polecats, ferrets, and coypu following minks testing positive for COVID-19 around the world in countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, and Sweden.

Hungary does not currently farm any of the species mentioned in the ban, but the purpose of the new law is to prevent any possibility of fur farmers moving their operations to Hungary from other countries.

“This ban is more than just symbol politics,” Dr. Joanna Swabe, the senior director of public affairs for the Humane Society International/Europe said in a press release. “There is a very real and present danger that fur farmers from elsewhere in Europe may attempt to move their operations to Hungary and set up shop there.”

Hungary Issues Preventative Mink and Fox Fur Ban

Hungary’s ban does not include the farming of chinchilla fur, and according to Humane Society International, the region breeds thousands of chinchillas for this purpose. “For as long as the animal exploitation of fur farming is tolerated, the potential for reservoirs of the animal to human pathogens will persist,” Swabe said. “HSI hopes that the Hungarian government will also consider strengthening its ban by shutting down the country’s chinchilla fur farms too.”

Many countries have passed similar fur farming bans and restrictions in recent months. In January of 2019, Serbia enforced a fur farm ban and as a result, spared the lives of 12,000 chinchillas per year. This past September, France announced a complete ban on mink fur farming following an investigation by One Voice, an animal campaign group. This has led to France’s last four remaining fur farms to shut down by 2025. The Dutch government has announced that all mink fur farms will permanently close by 2021, and fur farming is banned or in the process of being banned in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Norway, Belgium, and other countries around the world.

Denmark, one of the world's largest producers of mink fur, announced its largest fur auction house Kopenhagen Fur will close in the next two to three years. This was prompted by the Danish government's order for a cull of all of the country's farmed mink.