The Otsuka mink farm in Niigata, Japan—the last remaining fur farm in the country—shuttered at the end of November. Since 2006, the farm has been in violation of Japan’s Invasive Animal Species Act, wherein animals not native to the region—including mink, raccoon, and coypu—are highly restricted due to their threat to the destruction of local biodiversity. Additionally, the Otsuka farm was repeatedly warned by the Animal Rights Center in Japan for its violation of the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals. In lieu of bringing his farm up to code, the owner opted to end operations, citing that his farm was no longer economically viable due to declining demand for fur. Concurrently, a whistleblower recently released harrowing footage he gathered during his employment on a mink farm in Poland—a supplier to British and other European fur manufactures. “Perhaps the machine will be stopped because of it,” the whistleblower said, regarding his footage.
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