Fur Sales To Be Banned In Britain Under New Plans
Fur sales will be banned following the UK’s departure from the European Union, under plans being drawn up by ministers.
The action is being spearheaded by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, minister at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and a close friend and political ally of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his fiancée Carrie Symonds, also an animal rights campaigner.
New proposals from government ministers would see the prohibition of animal fur imports into Britain, subsequent to the transition period after the country leaves the EU’s single market and customs union.
While fur farming was banned back in 2003, UK law still allows the product to be imported from overseas, with France being one of the most prolific suppliers alongside Denmark, Finland, the US, Italy, Poland and Canada.
On May 12, leaked Defra documents to The Daily Telegraph showed Lord Goldsmith to meet with Humane Society International’s (HSI) executive director Claire Bass, inquiring whether there were specific areas of the fur trade which the government should research.
As per the Evening Standard, a Defra spokesperson said:
We have some of the highest welfare standards in the world, and that is both a source of pride and a clear reflection of UK attitudes towards animals.
Fur farming has rightly been banned in this country for nearly 20 years. Once our future relationship with the EU has been established there will be an opportunity for the government to consider further steps it could take in relation to fur sales.
Bass also said: ‘We welcome signs that the UK government is taking seriously public calls for a fur sales ban, because that is what the vast majority of British citizens want, and that is the morally and politically consistent thing to do.’
She added: ‘The UK banned fur farming two decades ago precisely because it’s an inherently cruel business, so we cannot in good conscience continue to sell fur from millions of animals suffering overseas.’
The British Fur Trade Association will lobby against the proposed ban, describing it as ‘irrational, illiberal and misjudged… those that shout the loudest seldom have the support of the majority or their moral backing’.
In a report, the group wrote:
Sales of natural fur in the UK have increased in recent years and are popular among younger age groups, as environmentally conscious consumers increasingly reject the mass-produced non-renewables epitomised by the fast fashion crisis and search out long lasting, sustainable natural materials.
Yet, animal rights groups are now actively and vocally lobbying the British Government for fur sales to be banned in the UK using selective data, arguments and anecdotal evidence.
It added: ‘Such shrill voices, of course, do not represent the silent majority who do not support such a ban; opinions that should not be cancelled but recognised and respected.’
A YouGov poll earlier this year commissioned by HSI/UK revealed that 93% of the British population reject wearing real animal fur, with 72% supporting a ban on the sale of fur in the UK.
This also comes after former CEO of the association, Mike Moser, announced his support for HSI’s #FurFreeBritain campaign, describing the practice as ‘barbaric’.
Symonds earlier described the fur trade as ‘sick’, dubbing any clothes brands selling it as ‘nuts’. Last year, Lord Goldsmith said: ‘Brexit could give us the opportunity to close our borders to this grotesque and unnecessary trade.’
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Humane Society International