Poland’s government faces a political crisis after the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) introduced new animal welfare legislation. The legislation would ban fur farms and the ritual slaughtering of animals, along with prohibiting animals from being showcased in traveling circuses. 

Law and Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski has advocated for the bill and said, “all good people” should back the proposal. The United Poland Party, the socially conservative governing partner of the PiS, has slammed the draft bill, as members believe it would hurt the animal farm industry and destroy thousands of jobs.

Poland is the third-largest fur producer in the world, after Denmark and China. The country is also a major exporter of Halal and Kosher meats. 

“Negotiations ... have been suspended due to the situation we have in the Sejm (parliament),” Ryszard Terlecki, a prominent PiS lawmaker and parliamentary leader told Reuters. Terlecki said the PiS would not like to rule as a minority government without United Poland. 

“If that happens, we’ll go to elections. Alone, of course,” Terlecki said.

PiS has been in the majority government since the 2015 parliamentary elections. The party supports economic interventionism and holds socially conservative positions on issues such as LGBT rights and abortion.

Multiple European nations have banned fur farms. The United Kingdom banned the practice in 2000, with Austria following suit in 2005. Fur farming is also being phased out in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on mink farms around the world. In Denmark, the Netherlands, and Spain, authorities had killed mink in recent months to prevent the spread of the virus.