Animal rights activists in Italy celebrate the news.
The Italian senate has passed an amendment to the government's 2022 budget bill that is to phase out fur farming in Italy next year, banning the breeding and killing of animals purely for their fur.
The decision taken by the senate budget commission, due to be ratified by parliament by the end of this year, will lead to the closure of the last five mink farms in Italy - located in Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna and Abruzzo - which between them contain about 7,000 caged animals.
The farms' activity had already been suspended since November 2020 to prevent the spread of covid after reports of cases of contagion among animals, starting from the first outbreaks in Denmark.
Italy's last fur farms must close down their operations by 30 June 2022 with the chance to avail of €3 million in EU-Italy funds to convert their agricultural activities, reports Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.
Victory for animal rights
The decision is seen as an important victory by animal rights organisation PETA which has made the elimination of fur one of its main objectives.
Mimi Bekhechi, vice president of international programmes at PETA, thanked the Italian parliament for "recognising that fur belongs to animals that wear it from birth and for ushering in a new era, one in which mink will no longer be caged, tortured and killed with gas in the name of fashion."
"With the biggest names in Italian fashion - Armani, Versace, Valentino and Gucci - now without fur, it's clear that the industry is truly dead and defunct", she said.
Punch in the face
The Italian Fur Association (AIP) has slammed the move however, with its president Roberto Tadini describing it as "a punch in the face", reports Il Sole 24 Ore.
Tadini said the senate's decision "cancels a piece of Made in Italy history", defending Italy's fur farms as "the best in Europe".
He also claimed that the closure of Italian fur farms, traceable and certified, will open the door to the importation of fur from countries without protocols, such as China.
"It is important that consumers are aware of this", said Tadini, adding that the decision to close Italy's fur farming sector was made "for purely ideological reasons".