Several hundred protesters gathered in front of the headquarters of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party on September 16 to rally against plans to ban fur production in Poland.
PiS wants to ban fur production in Poland – excluding rabbit fur – as it is pushing a draft bill on animal welfare through the parliament. The proposal is seen as PiS’ move to become more attractive to younger voters but the party has struggled to win the support of its coalition partners and is seeking wider backing from the opposition.
Poland’s fur industry is small in numbers but vocal and wealthy and launched a media and protest campaign immediately after PiS’s chairman and Poland’s de facto top decision-maker Jaroslaw Kaczynski announced the ban plan.
Protesters called Kaczynski “a traitor”. Some government figures are also sceptical. “PiS’ image losses will be permanent and very difficult to reverse, impossible to compensate by any means before the next elections,” Agriculture Minister Jan Ardanowski said in a letter, according to news website onet.pl.
The fur branch employs just 4,000 people and creates below 0.1% of Poland’s GDP, according to 2018 data. That said, Poland is the world’s third-biggest fur producer.
Work on the draft bill is continuing in the lower house of the Polish parliament today.