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Fur Farming, Timeline.

Posted in General news by ALib on the December 24th, 2011

Timeline of Incidents - Fur Farm Ban 2011.

ALiberation have compiled a series of incidents that has happened in relation to the proposed ban of fur farming since the current government has come into office. Each incident raises serious question marks about the intentions of the decision makers.

May 2011:
The current government stated in relation to the Animal Health and Welfare Bill that the “purpose of the bill” was “to consolidate and update existing legislation in the areas of animal health and welfare, including the repeal of several extant statutes, the responsibility for the welfare of all animals within the Department and to ban fur farming”.

This statement is included at the “Bills in respect of which heads have been agreed and texts are being drafted” stage of the “Government Legislation Programme” This stage is also referred to as “Section B” [1].

June 2nd 2011:
Any questions about banning fur farms are now met with a vague statement about “fur farming is being examined in the context of the ongoing drafting of the Bill.”

This becomes the standard response to any queries about fur farms “It is my intention to publish the Animal Health & Welfare Bill this year. However, as the Deputy will be aware the Bill is a complex one and will require extensive work in conjunction with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to complete the required legal drafting. Once a complete draft is available I intend to publish the Bill. The issue of fur farming is being examined in the context of the ongoing drafting of the Bill“. [2].

14th Sept:
When the Bill moved to the “Bills expected to be published from the start of the Dáil session to the beginning of the next session” stage or “Section A” the “purpose of the bill” changed to “To consolidate and update existing legislation in the areas of animal health and welfare, including the repeal of several extant statutes and the responsibility for the welfare of all animals within the Department” [3].

The words “and to ban fur farming” are no longer there. Yet the answers to questions about a ban of fur farming are still that “The issue of fur farming is being examined in the context of the ongoing drafting of the Bill.” [4] No answer has yet been received as to why these words were deleted [5].

25th August:
Minister McEntee tells the Seanad that “I am currently in the process of having a new animal health and welfare Bill drafted….”. He goes on to say that “The Minister, Deputy Coveney, has established a group within my Department to review all aspects of fur farming and I expect this review to be completed shortly.”

Minister McEntee finishes his speech by saying “It is crucial that we have that meeting and that the fur farmers get the guarantees they are looking for.” [6] Again no answer has yet been received as to what guarantees the Minister feels confident about giving the fur farmers in person.

16th September:
A notice from the Department of Agriculture titled “Fur Farming Review” appeared in newspapers looking for submissions from the public about Fur Farming with “a closing date for receipt of submissions of 31st December 2011.” [7] Yet Minister McEntee told the Seanad 3 weeks earlier that he “expected the review to be completed shortly”. The closing date adds another 2 and ½ months to the completion of the review and this isn’t counting the extra time to review the submissions.

Why are submissions now been looked 3 weeks after Minister McEntee felt confident enough of his position to give guarantees which the fur farmers are looking for? But not confident enough to answer repeated questions about what guarantees these are?

22nd November:
In answer to a Parliamentary Question, Minister Coveney, who has voted to ban fur farms in the past said “It is my intention to publish an Animal Health & Welfare Bill shortly. […] Once a complete draft is available I intend to publish the Bill. I have established a group within my Department to review all aspects of fur farming and have invited interested parties to make submissions. I anticipate that their review will be completed in the near future” [8].

This is already 3 months after Minister McEntee’s expectation that “this review” will “be completed shortly” and over a month before the closing date for submissions from the public for the Fur Farming Review without adding the time needed to go through the submissions.

22nd November:
The Taoiseach Enda Kenny and leader of Fine Gael replied to a question in the Dail in Irish “Is fíor go bhfoilseófar an Bille faoi chaighdeán maireachtála na n-ainmhithe roimh an Nollaig.” Which translated into English reads “It is true that the Animal Bill will be published before Christmas” [9].

If the closing date for submissions of the “Fur Farming Review” is the 31/12/2011 and the Animal Health and Welfare Bill is due to be published before the 25/11/2011 how are these dates compatible?

29th November:
The standard reply to any questions about banning fur farming has now changed to “I have established a Review Group in my Department to review all aspects of fur farming. Submissions have been invited on the review with a 31 December 2011 closing date for receipt of submissions. I will consider what action, if any, to take following the submission of the Review Group’s findings” [10].

Does the “action, if any” mean that the ban will be included or not included in the publication of the Bill. Considering that the Ban of Fur Farming is included in the Bill and no explanation has been forthcoming as to why it may have been dropped in Section A of the Government Legislation Programme then surely it should be included. If not then why not?

20th December:
Still no sign of the notice for the “Fur Farming Review” submissions on the Dept of Agriculture website.

References

1) http://www.irishtimes.com/focus/2011/legislation_programme2011/index.pdf

2) http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2011-06-02.748.0

3) http://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/Taoiseach_and_Government/Government_Legislation_Programme/SECTION_A1.html

4) http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2011-09-27.2015.0

5) http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2011-11-15.2223.0

6) http://www.kildarestreet.com/sendebates/?id=2011-10-25.359.0

7) Irish Independent, 16/11/2011, “Fur Farming Review”

8) http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/10/25/00365.asp

9) http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/11/22/00016.asp

10) http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2011/11/29/00345.asp

11) http://www.kildarestreet.com/debates/?id=2005-03-23.360.0

12) http://www.liamcahill.com/Clients.html

13) http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1112/1224307459236.html

14) http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/international/out67_en.pdf

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