The Japanese government has finally closed down Otsuka Mink Farm, the last fur farm in the country. This means that no more innocent animals will be forced into miserable existences in tiny, filthy wire cages, then beaten, electrocuted and skinned alive for fashion.
It was a long road to get to zero fur farms, but Japanese animal rights activists never gave up fighting. The Japanese mink fur industry first took off after World War II. By the 1970s, Japan had over 4,000 mink fur farms, and they were exporting a shocking 88,000 mink bodies each year. In the early 2000s, it was discovered that American minks were escaping their farms and damaging the environment. Because of this, in 2006, mink farming was made illegal in Japan under the Invasive Species Act.
Even though mink farming was officially banned, farms continued operating illegally — including the Otsuka Mink Farm. Despite repeated warnings from the Ministry of Environment, the Otsuka Mink Farm still kept 2,500 minks in horrific conditions. Now, the minks will be free to live out their natural lives without fear of being tortured and killed for their fur.
By ending the fur farming industry, the Japanese government has shown that they are committed to creating a better life for animals in their country.