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Tuesday, 23 November, 1999, 06:33 GMT
Scotland set for fur farm ban
The keeping of animals primarily for slaughter for fur could be banned in Scotland

The Scottish Executive is rumoured to be getting ready to introduce legislation to prohibit fur farming.

The UK Government has already announced plans to ban the keeping of animals which are to be slaughtered soley for the value of their fur.

Now Scotland is set to follow suit.

The fur industry is expected to fight the legislation
There are no operating fur farms in Scotland at present but animal rights campaigners are concerned that legislation to stop the trade in England and Wales could force the fur farmers north.

Ayrshire, Perthshire and the Lothians have several mothballed farms which activists believe could be brought back into service at a moment's notice.

The Scottish Executive is said to be concerned and BBC Scotland understands its advisors have recommended parallel legislation at Holyrood to prevent it happening.

One option is for an individual MSP to take up the cause and propose it as a members bill.

Queen's speech

But it is thought more likely the executive will proceed on its own, with the aim of getting new legislation on the statute books by January 2002 - the same time as Westminster.

The Westminster government set out plans - given in the Queen's speech - to ban fur farming.

The legislation will not prohibit the keeping of animals where the primary purpose is the production of meat and fur is a by-product, nor the production of fur which can be clipped or shorn.

It will provide some compensation for existing fur farmers and there will be a winding-down period until at least the end of 2002.

Under the new legislation, anyone found guilty of keeping animals for slaughter for their fur could be fined up to 20,000 by the courts and any animals subject to forfeiture.

British fur farms kill up to 100,000 animals every year although there are now just 13 registered mink farms left in Britain compared with around 70 in the mid-80s.

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See also:
17 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
More rights for ramblers and wildlife
17 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Queen's Speech: At a glance
17 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Queen's Speech in full
17 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Government to end fur farming

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