At 2 AM this morning, after a marathon of talks, votes and amendments, the Polish lower chamber of Parliament voted to ban fur farming! The law, which won a monumental battle, will also ban ritual slaughter for exports and the use of wild animals in circuses.
With about 5 million animals, the Polish fur farming industry will have to close its farms over 12 months once the legislation enters into force.
The law, which passed with the overwhelming 365 'YES' votes, only 75 'NO's and 18 abstentions, also stipulates that ritual slaughter (i.e. slaughter without stunning) can only be used for the religious minorities registered in Poland. Ritual slaughter for exports will be prohibited, after a transition period of only 30 days after the law kicks in. Wild animals in circuses will also not be allowed.
Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming EU, said: “Hooray for animals in Poland! The movement of animal lovers has the wind at its back. The domino effect has taken over yet another European country, resolved to fix humankind’s sad history of mistreating animals. We very much hope that the EU will soon get up to speed with the modern times and give animals a better life. Congratulations to Warsaw! Brussels, now it’s over to you.”
Over the past week, the Polish lower house of Parliament managed to put forward the draft law and go through three readings of the file. The first reading of the bill started on Wednesday, 16 September, and it took 11 hours and 84 votes for MPs to reach an agreement, with white smoke coming only at 7:30 AM on Thursday. Both the second and the third final reading of the bill were fast tracked on the same day, ending early on Friday morning.
During the talks, most parties, which would normally disagree on other issues, voted in unison for the animals. This is enlightening to see. The only exception was the far-right Confederation party, which repeatedly blocked consensus. The party is headed by former Member in the European Parliament Janusz Korwin Mikke, who earned himself a name for his racist and sexist remarks.
With the toughest part now over, the final version now needs to be approved by the upper chamber of Parliament and then the President. We expect this to be a formality.
Good news for animals are on a roll. On Wednesday, Czech legislators voted to ban cages for laying hens. Earlier this year, Slovakia agreed to phase out cages for laying hens and Germany banned cruel crates for pregnant sows.