“It’s now time that we end the double-standard of having a ban on fur farming, whilst importing the same cruelty from overseas.”
A coalition of MPs is calling on the government to ban the sale and import of real animal fur in Britain.
Conservative MP Christian Wakeford led the debate on UK’s fur trade on 14 September and all 18 of the MPs who spoke did so in favour of a ban.
All the participants referred to the trade as ‘barbaric’, ‘cruel’, ‘utterly illogical’, ‘outmoded’, and ‘inhumane’.
This is the parliament’s first Westminster Hall debate on fur sales since leaving the European Union.
Whilst Britain banned fur farming over 20 years ago, imports are still allowed from other countries. The country has imported more than £800 million worth of fur from countries including Finland, China, France and Poland.
‘Condemn it to the history books’
“It’s now time that we end the double-standard of having a ban on fur farming, whilst importing the same cruelty from overseas,” Wakeford in his argument stated.
“The fur industry would appear to me to be an industry that is outmoded and out of touch with modern values and principles of the humane treatment of animals, and I implore my Parliamentary colleagues to join me in condemning it to the history books as we have done for so many other cruel and archaic treatments of animals.”
He added: “Following the call for evidence on the fur trade held by the Government over the summer; given the strong public and Parliamentary support for this measure; and noting the Government’s commitment and ambition to be a world leader on animal welfare standards – I ask the Minister to use her response to today’s debate to reassure me and everyone in this room today that legislative action to end the UK’s involvement in the global fur trade will be imminently forthcoming. It’s not just the popular thing to do; it’s the right thing to do.””
Growing support for a fur trade ban
The debate follows a petition that was launched under the coordination of Humane Society International UK.
The Fur Free Britain campaign garnered over a million signatures and was endorsed by a slew of celebrities including Chris Packham, Ricky Gervais, Brian May, Leona Lewis, and Dami Judi Dench.
Moreover, last month, a cross-party group of 100 MPs and peers also wrote to Environment Secretary George Eustice, calling on the UK Government to ban the import and sale of animal fur.
Public support for ending the double standard of UK fur imports and sales has also been growing over the years.
DEFRA’s recent Call for Evidence on the UK fur trade received over 30,000 responses, and more than one million petition signatures have been delivered to the Prime Minister in support of #FurFreeBritain.
A Yonder opinion poll published in May 2021 found that 72% of Brits support a ban on the import and sale of all animal fur.
In response to ‘the strong feeling’ exhibited by politicians and the general public on UK’s fur trade, DEFRA Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Rebecca Pow MP said: “We are building a strong evidence base on which to inform any future policy, noting information from a range of sources, including industry associated with the fur trade and notable retailers who have recently gone fur-free…”
However, she added that she was “not in a position to introduce any next steps on the fur trade today”.
‘Consign fur cruelty to the history books’
Claire Bass is the executive director of Humane Society International/UK. She said: “Every MP who spoke at this debate reflected the views of their constituents by supporting a ban on fur imports and sales, and calling for Britain to end its bloody business with the international fur trade.
“If we are a nation of animal lovers, Britain cannot remain complicit in the appalling suffering of millions of fur-bearing animals caged or trapped overseas, all for frivolous fur fashion.
“We urge Government to consign fur cruelty to the history books by introducing legislation to ban the import and sale of real animal fur as soon as possible.”
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