TALLINN - The farm animal protection organization Nahtamatud Loomad (Invisible Animals) has gathered over 5,000 digital signatures as part of their effort to ban fur farms in Estonia, which is the biggest number of signatures officially put under a petition in Estonia ever.
"Words cannot express our gratitude to the thousands of people who stood up in defense of animals -- giving one's signature by e-mail is one thing, but taking the time to give a signature digitally to put the petition formally on track for procedure is a totally different thing," said Merit Valge, campaign manager at Nahtamatud Loomad.
As the next step the nonprofit is about to hand the signatures over to the Riigikogu, which is obligated to accept the topic for discussion in six months.
Draft legislation to outlaw fur farms has been handled by the Riigikogu on two occasions earlier but was voted down both times.
"Fur farms have become a disgrace for our progress-minded Estonia. The people have known this for a long time, yet now it is time for the politicians to pay heed to our wish. We will do our utmost for Estonia to be the first among the Baltic countries to take this animal-friendly decision," Valge said.
Opponents of fur farms argue that fur farms cannot ensure proper species-based living conditions nor the sufficient welfare of the animals and their products are unnecessary for the lives of people.
Fourteen countries of Europe have banned fur farms already. The last of the countries to have imposed such ban as a result of pressure from the public to date is Slovakia.