‘Fur is not a necessity. It’s for vanity. In 2020, there is no justification for fur – full stop’
This week, former British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) CEO Mike Moser announced his support for the #FurFreeBritain campaign by animal charity Humane Society International UK (HSI).
The 64-year-old, who worked in the fur industry for a decade before resigning in January 2019 is calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ban all fur sales
‘Fur is not a necessity’
Describing the industry as “anachronistic, barbaric and unnecessary,” Moser admitted that during his tenure at the International Fur Federation and then BFTA, he visited numerous fur farms and has had first-hand experience of the horrific suffering of foxes, minks, raccoon dogs and other animals for their fur.
“Fur is not a necessity. It’s for vanity. In 2020, there is no justification for fur – full stop. That an animal is caged for its entire life is wrong,” he told Sky News.
“I resigned from the fur trade because I could no longer in all good faith, and with a good conscience, defend what I believe to be indefensible.
“I no longer believed it possible to raise animals in cages and maintain good welfare. I no longer believe in the right of the industry to exist when its product, the fur is produced solely for vanity.
“The animals on the fur farms are born in cages, and they lead their short lives in the cages. They never know what it’s like to run free.”
He added that his labrador pet was another driving factor that made him increasingly question the ethics of confining helpless animals for their entire lives.
In an interview, he told the Mirror: “At the time I would come home and I really started to adore this dog.
“It then hit me how inconsistent this was. One one hand, showering this dog with love and then going to work to defend the practices of caging mink and foxes, some of whom weren’t that smaller than a dog, for their entire lives.
“I said to myself, how can I hand-on-heart say these things? It really troubled me. That was the beginning of me realising that I could no longer do this.”
While fur farming has been banned in the UK since 2000, it is legal to purchase, trade, and import fur. Britain imports fur from a variety of species including fox, rabbit, mink, and chinchilla.
“It is morally inconsistent to ban the means of fur production in this country but to allow it to be produced elsewhere and then sold in the UK,” said Moser.
Also, a recent YouGov opinion poll commissioned by animal welfare charity Humane Society International/UK (HSI UK) revealed that 93% of Brits reject wearing real animal fur, and 72% support a ban on the sale of fur in the UK.
‘Fur trade is anachronistic’
Moser is now a part-time consultant for HSI UK and is supporting the charity’s #FurFreeBritain campaign for a UK fur sales ban
In an official statement, he said: “The fur trade is anachronistic. It still fails to recognise that social attitudes towards animals have changed dramatically, that we understand much more clearly sentiency and what constitutes good welfare.
“The Zeitgeist today is that caging and killing animals for an unnecessary fashion product, that has only vanity value, is unacceptable.
“The UK banned fur farming two decades ago but for as long as we import and sell the fur from overseas, the UK is still supporting fur farming and trapping by proxy. That’s morally and politically ambiguous, and that’s why I support a UK fur sales ban.”
‘End the suffering’
Claire Bass, HSI executive director said: “British people and politicians take pride in being a nation of animal lovers, and so it doesn’t surprise me that it was Mike’s love for his dog Barney that was at the heart of his epiphany that caging and killing animals for their fur is wrong.
“If the idea of locking a pet dog in a cage for life and then electrocuting and skinning that animal for fur is unthinkable, then it’s not a big leap to feel similar empathy for animals like foxes who endure this cruelty on fur farms.
“I fully respect Mike’s change of heart, and he now has an important and powerful message for the UK government — if someone like him with a decade’s experience inside the fur industry says it’s right to ban fur sales, then it’s time to take action and end the suffering.”
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