Estonia just announced that it will ban fur farming in its entirety, marking history as the first Baltic country to abandon fur. This week, The Riigikogu, Estonia’s parliament, voted on the bill to ban fur farming in the country and 55 out of 101 members voted in favor of the prohibition. The legislation will not be fully enacted in January 2026, but Estonian industries will begin to move away from fur and animal farming. The legislation comes following Europe’s general shift away from fur farming as multiple Western European countries have pushed against the fur industry.
The Baltic country’s fur prohibition comes after a 2020 survey found that 75 percent of people living in Estonia opposed fur farming practices that killed animals for products. Fur farming has been moved out of practice in Estonia over recent years. The country once had 41 milk farms in 2015, but in June 2020 Estonia claimed that it no longer hosts any operating mink farms. The total number of animal farms has fallen from 200,000 to under 1,000, as reported by Open Cages.
“We celebrate with Estonia today, as it becomes the first Baltic country to ban cruel fur farming,” Executive Director of the Humane Society International / UK Claire Bass said. “And, we congratulate local animal welfare groups on their years of campaigning to get the ban done. This victory provides further affirmation that caging, electrocuting, and gassing animals just to make bubble hats is a business that is on borrowed time. We hope that politicians in nearby Finland and Poland are inspired not to get left behind as Europe turns its back on the cruel and unnecessary fur trade.
The UK first banned the manufacturing of fur in 2003, but since then imported fur from Estonia. During recent years, the UK has worked towards banning fur completely, phasing out its popularity in sales across the country. A poll showed in 2021 that 72 percent of British citizens supported HSI’s FFur Free Britain ban. As Estonia moves to ban fur, it also pushes the British a step closer to completely phasing out fur from its store’s shelves.
“In recent years the UK has imported several hundred thousand pounds worth of fur from Estonia, making us complicit in the caged cruelty,” Bass continued. “But, with the UK government this week launching a Call for Evidence to consider a UK fur import and sales ban… We have a great opportunity to stop bankrolling fur factory farming overseas.”
Estonia first started discussing a fur ban in 2009, but the legislation did not appear in the Estonian government until last year. The new bill makes Estonia the 14th European country to prohibit fur farming, continuing the rapidly growing trend sweeping across Europe.
“It’s a great day for the thousands of animals who will be saved from a life of suffering thanks to Estonia passing this law,” CEO of Open Cages Connor Jackson told LIVEKINDLY. “As the latest country to rid themselves of this cruel industry, it’s more clear than ever that the UK must ban fur imports and what we started two decades ago.”