Bulgaria bans import and breeding of US mink

Bulgarian Environment Minister Borislav Sandov has signed an order under the Biodiversity Law prohibiting the import and breeding of American mink (Neovison vison) on Bulgarian territory, the Ministry of Environment announced. Environment on June 1.

The decision aims to reduce the total number of specimens of the American mink species in order to reduce the risk of them being released into the wild and to reduce the direct threat to biodiversity in Bulgaria, the Ministry of Health said. ‘Environment.

“The ban on raising and importing mink in Bulgaria is already a fact. After the public debate and opinions on all comments received, I signed the final banning order,” Sandov said.

“These animals are an invasive species for Bulgaria, causing severe damage to local ecosystems,” he said.

He said conditions at Bulgaria’s only mink farm were unfortunate and were the reason escaped mink had entered wildlife areas and caused damage in recent years.

Due to its strong negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as on the economy in Europe, the species is included by scientists as number 19 in the list of the 100 most dangerous invasive alien species in Europe and the priority invasive alien species for Bulgaria.

Various bans on mink farming and imports have been introduced in several EU countries and the UK over the past 20 years.

Outside the EU, a ban on keeping animals for their valuable fur has been introduced in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Israel, New Zealand, parts of the United States and the Canada, among others.

Sandov’s order will come into effect after it is published in the Official Gazette. It will also be published on the website of the Ministry of the Environment.

(Photo via the Ministry of the Environment website)

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