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Captive Animals: Legislative Protection

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 15 February 1984

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What conditions and regulations apply to the setting up and conduct of "farms" for the keeping, breeding and slaughter of mink, foxes and other animals in captivity for commercial purposes.

The welfare provisions of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1968 and its subordinate legislation relate to all farm animals and thus also to those farmed for fur. It is an offence under the Act to cause them unnecessary pain or unnecessary distress. The State Veterinary Service conduct regular welfare inspections at fur farms just as they do on other livestock holdings. They are under instruction to follow up any complaint or allegation (elating to welfare. In addition, the Protection of Animals Acts 1911 and 1912 make it an offence to cause any domestic or captive animals unnecessary suffering. For pest control purposes, it is illegal to keep mink in Great Britain except under licence from the appropriate agriculture Minister, Further, the Mink (Keeping) Regulations 1975, as amended, prescribe secure keeping arrangements to prevent their escape into the wild.