In a historical vote, the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP) committed to working toward ending fur farming and fur sales both in Finland and in the EU within a reasonable transition period. News on the decision was released last week during the Social Democrats’ party congress, held in Tampere, Finland.
Finnish animal rights organizations Animalia and Justice for Animals appreciate the Social Democrats’ forward-thinking conclusion. The SDP is Finland’s largest party, and their newly confirmed party leader Sanna Marin is Finland’s current Prime Minister. The ruling party’s decision comes at a time when the acceptability of fur farming is increasingly questioned both among EU citizens and in daily politics.
“Seventy-four percent of Finnish citizens oppose current fur farming practices. For years, animal advocacy organizations have been working hard for a ban on fur farming in Finland. It is brilliant that Finland’s largest party has updated their position in line with the popular opinion. The majority of the Government parties are now in favor of a fur farming ban,”Heidi Kivekäs, Executive Director of Animalia said in a statement. “We expect Sanna Marin’s Government to take the necessary steps to end fur farming. The next logical move would be to propose legislation to prohibit fur farming.”
Initiatives to ban fur farming have entered the parliamentary process in several European countries. Many countries have already introduced full bans, one of the latest being Norway. A ban is highly possible in Finland now that three out of five Government parties are committed to ending fur farming for good.
“We are extremely pleased with SDP’s freshly formed stance. Animals need everyone for their defense, and an important new ally has now joined the ranks. There are politicians opposing fur farming among other parties as well, even if there is no official party line yet. There is still a lot of work to be done so that this party position does not turn into an empty promise,” stated Kristo Muurimaa of Justice for Animals.
Both Animalia and Justice for Animals are members of Fur Free Alliance (FFA), a European anti-fur organization.
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The post Finland Takes A Historic Stand Against Fur Farming & Sales Moving One Step Closer Towards A Ban appeared first on World Animal News.
Today, Senate Bill 1175 passed the California Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife by a vote of 8-3. The bill will cut off imports of any wildlife into the state that could spread zoonotic disease like COVID-19 or that are invasive species. The bill will also ban the possession of several commonly hunted species from Africa, such as lions, elephants, and rhinos, among others. Senator Henry Stern, who authored SB 1175, is working with cosponsors of the bill, political advocacy group Social Compassion in Legislation and Center for Biological Diversity.
“California must not be complicit in the brutal wildlife trafficking that threatens our public health and undermines our values. This is our chance to be global leaders by cracking down on this brutal trade with the power of the world’s fifth largest economy. With this vote, we’ve sent another strong message that California is ready to lead,” Senator Henry Stern said in a statement sent to WAN.
A United Nations study published in May 2019, which is the most comprehensive assessment of its kind, found that around one million species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.
“The factual data in the U.N. study was compiled by multiple nations to identify the threat of this mass extinction, not misinformation being spewed by hunting interest to justify killing majestic creatures to the benefit of a wealthy few,” said Judie Mancuso, President and Founder of Social Compassion in Legislation.
“The NRA, Safari Club, and representatives of Zimbabwe claimed that trophy hunting somehow conserves elephants and other species,” continued Mancuso. “Despite these claims, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under the Obama Administration found that the management programs in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Zambia did not conserve these animals and banned the importation of trophies into the United States.”
“Since then nothing has changed on the ground, the only difference is their new friend in the White House, as the Trump administration reversed that scientifically- based decision and thus necessitated that California take the steps in SB 1175,” concluded Mancuso.
The falsehood that hunting fees go to local populations is a myth. The fact is that money spent on trophy hunts goes to the outfitters, the landowners, and government officials. Locals make money off eco-tourism, not trophy hunting.
Other provisions of the bill will create safeguards against importation of live wildlife that could transmit zoonotic diseases or threaten native wildlife.
Globally, a quarter of human deaths are from infectious disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, about 60% of these diseases are considered zoonotic, meaning they jump from other animals to people, and more than 70% of zoonotic diseases originate with wildlife. COVID-19 almost certainly originated in a bat, likely made the jump to another species, potentially a pangolin, and from there to humans. All of this is associated with a live animal market.
“The international wildlife trade not only poses a disease risk to people but is a threat to biodiversity,” declared Brendan Cummings, conservation director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Whether it’s dead animals brought in as trophies or curios, or live animals imported as pets or food, our unsustainable appetite for wildlife is one of the main drivers of the extinction crisis.”
The COVID-19 outbreak has led numerous organizations, including elements of the UN and WHO to call for bans or restrictions on the live wildlife trade. With the world facing two massive threats, plague and extinction, it is time for the state to use the tools available. SB 1175 does that, in as far as one state can go.
The post Breaking! Bill To Ban The Possession Of Wildlife “Trophies” Into California Passes Assembly Committee With 8-3 Vote & Is One Step Closer To Becoming Law appeared first on World Animal News.