The Flemish government has adopted a decree that would ban fur-farming and force-feeding (“gavage”, the technique used to produce foie gras). The 17 mink farms and single foie gras producer based in Flanders will have to close down, Flemish animal welfare Minister Ben Weyts said on Sunday. The decree does include a transition period between now and the end of 2023.
“Fur-farming was recently banned in both Wallonia (2015) and Brussels (2017), but this ban is just symbolic really: there are no fur-farms in Wallonia and Brussels anyway. Flanders still has 17 fur-farms, which have authorisation for 325,000 animals. More than 200,00 animals are still killed in these farms every year”, Ben Weyts said in a press release.
The decree bans keeping animals just so they can be killed for their fur.
“Gavage”, forcing an animal to eat too much food to fatten their liver, will also be banned. It was banned in Brussels last year but is still legal in Wallonia, which has the highest number of foie gras producers in the country. There is only one foie gras producer still operating in Flanders.
There will be a transition period, which will last until the 1st of December 2023. As soon as the decree comes into effect, fur and foie gras producers will no longer be able to develop or move their operations and will be pushed into closing down as soon as possible.