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Explanatory Memorandum to Fur Farming (Prohibition) (Northern Ireland) Order 2002

Background and Policy Objectives

2.The purpose of the Order is to prohibit the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur. The Order brings the law into line with that in England and Wales and Scotland.

3.In England and Wales legislation was introduced in November 2000, which banned the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur.  The Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000 received Royal Assent on 23 November 2000. The provisions in relation to the ban on the keeping of animals for slaughter for the value of their fur came into effect on 1 January 2003. The Act also contains provisions for the making of a scheme   which would provide compensation for existing businesses. In 2000 there were 13 such businesses in England and Wales. The Scottish Bill prohibiting fur farming received Royal Assent on 11 April 2002 and came into operation by means of a Commencement Order on 1 January 2003. There are no fur farming businesses in Scotland.

4.Although there are no known businesses currently operating in Northern Ireland which keep animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur, the Order prevents businesses which could no longer operate in England and Wales from relocating or starting up in Northern Ireland. The Order contains provisions to enable the Department to make a scheme to pay compensation to fur farmers who incur losses as a result of the ban on fur farming. It is not anticipated that it will be necessary to use compensation provisions but these provisions are necessary in order to ensure that the Order is ECHR compliant.

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