Fur farming is to be phased out in Ireland under a bill to be brought forward by the Government.

The move, which received Cabinet approval today, comes as a Solidarity-People Before Profit bill to outlaw fur farming is due to come before the Dáil on the 3 and 4 of July.

In a statement, the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed said the bill "will make it illegal for any new fur farms to be established".

It will also allow existing operators to leave the sector on a phased basis.

14 EU member states have banned the farming of mink and other wild animals.

The statement from the Department of Agriculture states that the approach in other European countries has generally been to allow a phase out period over a number of years.

Mr Creed said this will allow time for employees in the sector to find alternative work.

At present there are three mink fur farms in Ireland, in Donegal, Laois and Kerry, which produce around 110,000 pelts a year.

A fourth fur farm closed in 2014.

Yesterday, People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith welcomed the Government's announcement of the decision, but called for an urgent meeting with the minister to clarify what is in his proposals.

The National Animal Rights Association has also welcomed the decision, with spokesperson Laura Broxson saying that it is unacceptable for the fur industry to continue.

Last week the chief executive of the ISPCA, Dr Andrew Kelly, said fur farming is incompatible with the Government's animal welfare strategy and has no place in the modern world.