Movement to make Cork a fur-free city wants to meet with councillors

Movement to make Cork a fur-free city wants to meet with councillors

Mark Cronin, left, and James O’Donovan manning a stall at the Fur-Free Cork campaign on Patrick Street. Picture: Oliver Moran

FUR Free Cork have extended an invitation to City Councillors to meet with them to eliminate any confusion about the identities of people in the lobbying group.

The invitation was made by the activists following an objection in City Hall last week to a letter circulated by the organisation to councillors which had their names redacted.

The campaign group is calling on City Hall to declare Cork ‘fur free’ in order to put pressure on the fur industry operating in Ireland.

However, Councillor Chris O’Leary objected to the request because he did not know of the identities of those involved.

Mr O’Leary said that he was entitled to know who was lobbying him and the organisers of the group agreed, initiating the invitation to councillors.

One of the ‘Fur Free Cork’ organisers Mark Cronin said it was “fair enough” for Mr O’Leary to question the letter and said he was more than happy to put a face to the lobbying.

There are currently three fur farms in operation in Ireland and 200,000 mink are killed in Ireland each year for their fur, mainly for export.

Mr Cronin said that campaign first began in May 2018 at a National Animal Rights Association (NARA) talk at Vegfest.

“We just thought, this is wrong and we wanted to do something about it.”

He pointed out that Cork is twinned with San Francisco, which last year banned fur from their city.

The lobbying group, which often campaign on the streets of Cork for a fur-free city, have said that the reaction they have gotten is amazing.

“A lot of people are unaware of the industry here in Ireland and are very shocked to hear that there are three fur farms here. They don’t know it is happening.”

Mr Cronin also said that the most common question he is asked about the banning fur is what would happen the mink and would they be released into the wild.

“That is the only issue people have in relation to being fur-free. Ideally we would like to see the mink returned to their native lands of Canada or Russia, but obviously, real politics means they will be phased out. They end the farming on a certain date and that is the end of it.”

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