The Minister of the Environment Keit Pentus-Rosimannus replied to the interpellation concerning the organisation keeping of American minks (No 351), submitted by Members of the Riigikogu Karel Rüütli, Sven Mikser, Neeme Suur, Kajar Lember, Kalvi Kõva, Eiki Nestor, Jaak Allik, Helmen Kütt, Rainer Vakra, Andres Anvelt, Rein Randver, Rannar Vassiljev, Deniss Boroditš and Inara Luigas on 20 June.
The interpellators wished to know how many fur farms were operating in Estonia, how many farms had been granted an operating licence and how many farms were operating without compliance with the requirements which were in force in Estonia.
The Minister of the Environment noted that, at the present moment, a licence has been issued to three American mink farms in Estonia. None of those to whom a licence has been issued is operating at the moment. However, there are three American mink farms that are operating without a licence. These data are as at 1 October this year. In the Minister’s words, all the farms that are operating have made serious efforts to bring their existence and operation into compliance with the requirements.
“Estonia is one of the few countries in Europe that have a European mink population. Regrettably, American minks pose a very serious danger to European minks,” the Minister said. She explained that they are not only dangerous but also cause damage.
The Minister of the Environment noted that the fur farms that are operating without a licence have not only received prescripts but fines have also been imposed on them. After the amendment of the Nature Conservation Act which entered into force on 1 May according to which it is possible to take significantly stricter action against illegal operators, a process of bringing the activities into compliance with the requirements has begun in the farms that are operating without a licence.
The Minister explained that unfortunately the Environmental Inspectorate has not been granted the legal authority which would allow to immediately terminate the activities of the farms that operate without a licence. “After the amendment of the Nature Conservation Act whereby a stricter punishment was provided, it is possible to apply for termination of their activities by court proceedings.” “It is absolutely inadmissible that such a situation should have emerged and lasted for so long. I can help in every way to put an end to this situation and I will do that,” Pentus-Rosimannus said.
The Minister of the Environment also replied to the interpellation concerning implementation of the state budget in the area of government of the Minister of the Environment in 2012 (No 356).
During the open microphone, Aadu Must, Inara Luigas, Marika Tuus-Laul, Yana Toom and Mailis Reps took the floor.
The Riigikogu Press Service
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