I hear that activist lawyers in Brussels are acting for for Mink Rights groups to help them prevent Danish plans to exterminate all the 17 million mink (currently in 1100 farms across the country). The cull is deemed necessary by the Danish government owing to Corona-viral mutations that the mink have, unwittingly, enabled.
These poor creatures (the mink not the lawyers) are factory farmed (think battery hens with sharp teeth) and slaughtered young when their pelts are their softest. They are now the most common animal used in the fur trade. Denmark is not alone. Poland has about 9 million in its farms, the Netherlands about 6 million, and Finland about 2 million. They are mostly exported to China even though that country has about 31 million of its own.
When mink pelts were first worn the fur was on the inside, but when display of wealth overtook retention of body heat as the reason for wearing it, the fur became visible outward show.
Mink farming has existed since the 1860s and there were about 400 farms in the UK in the post-WWII period. Inevitably there were escapes and a few liberations, resulting in feral populations that continue to cause havoc in waterways as mink have a 'take no prisoners policy.
The UK banned mink farming 20 years ago. I'll be remembering this the next time we are lectured about ensuring we meet continental animal welfare standards.