Sofia, Bulgaria – 1st of June 2022
The ban on breeding (reproduction) and importing American minks in Bulgaria is already a fact, Deputy Prime Minister for Climate Policy and Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov announced on 1st of June 2022.
„After the public discussion and the opinions on all the comments received, I signed the final order for this ban,“ the minister said. He pointed out that minks are an invasive species for Bulgaria, which causes serious damage to local ecosystems when they get there.
„The conditions on the only farm in Bulgaria are unfavourable and it has allowed minks to enter wildlife areas in recent years and cause damage,“ Sandov continued.
The order (General administrative act) shall enter into force after its promulgation in the State Gazette. It will be additionally published on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Water.
On 7th of February the Bulgarian organization CAAI (Campaigns and Activism for Animals in the Industry) sent a letter to minister Sandov in which they reminded of the threat to biodiversity and the negative impact on the environment from the breeding of the species „American mink“. In its letter, CAAI called on the Minister to implement the Biodiversity Act and to ban the breeding and import of the “American mink” species, citing all scientific, factual and expert data on the harmful effects of this activity.
In early April, a draft order was issued on breeding and importing of the species American mink (Neovision vison) in Bulgaria. The legal ground for the order is Article 67 of Biodiversity Act, according to which the environment Minister may ban the breeding and import of non-native animal, plant and fungal species, including subspecies and varieties, if their accidental release into the wild will endanger the existence of native species of wild flora, fauna and mycota. The draft order ban went through one month of public consultations which finished on 10th of May 2022.
“We thank Minister Sandov for this really important and very useful decision for the nature of Bulgaria. Decision based on scientific and expert data on the damage from the breeding of the species American mink. At the same time, a solution that will prevent huge damage to wildlife and end the suffering of millions of American minks that are bred for their fur in cruel conditions! Just a ban order, but so important to nature and the animals.” said Petya Altimirska, head of CAAI.
In Bulgaria at the moment there is one active farm for breeding the species American mink. After the entry into force of the order, this farm will not be able to carry out breeding and import of American minks. This would not allow the farm to continue operating in the future.
It is important to emphasize that the ministerial order does not mean a ban on raising all fur animals, and that it only concerns the species „American mink”. A bill banning the breeding of all species of fur animals (including minks) has been submitted three times to the last three Bulgarian parliaments. CAAI points out that it is expected to be submitted to the current Parliament again soon.
Contacts and additional information
Petya Altimirska (Head of CAAI)
+359 895 76 07 54