Fashion trends change often, but one style that has been steadily decreasing in popularity for over a decade is fur. Fox and mink pelts have lost their appeal to younger generations as animal rights groups have significantly gained in popularity. Norway has taken a step in the direction of compassion with its plan to phase out fur farms by 2025.

Spearheaded by Erna Solberg, Norway's conservative Prime Minister, this move will put an end to the inhumane practice of skinning animals for their pelts. Solberg’s action is an attempt to broaden her conservative government by adding the anti-fur members of the Liberal Party.

Fox and mink breeders are not happy about it.

A shocking scene

It came a big surprise to fox and mink breeders when Solberg agreed to put an end to fur farms in Norway. Guri Wormdahl of the Norwegian Fur Breeders Association stated that they were "Shaken to the core." According to Wormdahl, there are currently 200 fur farms in Norway which employ approximately 400 people. She also stated that these farms adhere to animal welfare standards.

Another group that was shocked, but in a good way, was Noah. This animal rights group has condemned the practice of harvesting fur from animals, calling it cruel and outdated. They have also pointed out that fur is no longer a fashion trend and needs to come to an end.

Siri Martinsen, the leader of Noah, said that they are very pleased with Solberg's decision.

Fur economics

Before World War II, Norway was the world leader in fox fur trade. At the peak of fur farming in 1939, Norway was home to over 20,000 fur farms. In 2013, the Nordic nation dropped down to producing only 3% of fox furs worldwide.

The market for animal pelts has been cornered by China, which produces 69% of furs worldwide, followed by Finland.

Wormdahl argues that fur farming rakes in 350 million to 500 million Norwegian crowns annually (approximately $44-$63 million). In today's economy, $1 is the equivalent to 7.8918 Norwegian crowns.

Economists agreed with Prime Minister Solberg's decision.

Experts such as Sveinung Fjose of Menon Business Economics said that farming fur was no longer a lucrative endeavor and would not cause much harm to Norway's economy.

International cooperation

The Humane Society recently stated that Norway will be the 14th country in Europe to ban fur farming. The first country to put a stop to this cruel practice was the United Kingdom in 2000, followed by Austria in 2004. Gucci, a luxury Italian fashion brand, stated last year that they will no longer design clothes featuring fur. They have joined the growing list of companies who refuse to use animal pelts in their designs.

The United States has not yet banned fur farms.