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Gale backs call for Fur Free Britain

May 15th 2018

Sir Roger Gale MP (North Thanet), Patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, is one of a growing number of Veterinary Surgeons, Animal Welfarists and Members of both Houses of Parliament, calling for measures to enhance the labelling of “fur” and “faux fur” goods currently on sale and, post-Brexit, for a total ban on the importing of real fur and fur-trimmed products.

Speaking in advance of a Commons debate on the issue (Monday 4th June - Westminster Hall) the MP has said:

“In spite of the ending of fur-farming in the United Kingdom an unwitting public continues to buy, either from shops or online, items that claim to be “faux fur” but are in fact the real animal – often at lower prices than the artificial variety sells for. There is ample evidence to show that the lack of legislation preventing the importing of fur products into the UK is inconsistent with our domestic ban on breeding and trapping animals for their pelts. Sadly, it is not, at present, possible under EU law to introduce an outright ban but that will change. In the meantime, I believe that retailers have a duty to be scrupulously honest about what they are selling and that customers have a right to know, through bold labelling, precisely what it is that they are buying. Given the choice I believe that very few people would opt to purchase real fur products taken from farmed or wild animals.

The fur trade likes, through its “Furmark” brand, to present the trade as welfare-friendly but hard evidence shows that it is anything but with wild animals bred and reared in tiny cages under appalling and inhumane conditions – simply to be used to adorn` vanity` products.

Poland, Spain, France, Sweden, Finland, Demark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Lithuania, the USA, Estonia, Canada and, of course, China and Russia all still permit virtually unregulated fur-farming and Norway is phasing in a ban but will continue to supply UK markets in the immediate future. What is needed is a global approach to this issue but in the short-term there are steps that we can take in Great Britain, unilaterally, to eliminate this traffic and we should do so without hesitation

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