The Humane Society International/UK (HSI/UK) is pushing for a total ban on fur imports and sales in the UK, citing a lack of transparency from the Government regarding public sentiment against fur.
The call for action comes after the publication of an email from former Environment Secretary George Eustice, revealing that 96 per cent of 30,000 respondents strongly opposed using animals for fur.
The Freedom of Information(FOI) request detailing correspondence between Eustice and Mairi Gougeon, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, in December 2021, confirmed overwhelming public objection to fur. He pledged that the Government would proceed with a ban on fur import and sales in response to the evidence.
Supporting this stance, Gougeon echoed her support in February 2022, stating, “The Scottish Ministers support, in principle, the initiative to prohibit the import and sale in Great Britain of fur to address the public moral objection to any rearing or killing of animals purely for their fur”.
The UK has continued to import and sell fur from other countries like Finland and China despite the ban on fur farming in 2003 on animal welfare grounds. Records from HMRC indicate over £41.9 million worth of fur imported in 2022, roughly equating to over 1 million animals, as estimated by HSI/UK.
In recent research, HSI/UK uncovered several independent boutiques in markets and online, mislabelling and incorrect marketing of fur products in the UK. This mislabelling has complicated ethical shopping fur shopping for anti-fur customers. Thus, the need for transparency has never been greater.
HSI/UK’s Claire Bass expressed her disappointment with the UK Government: “The Government ran a Call for Evidence on the UK fur trade in May 2021 and has been inexplicably sitting on the results ever since. Nearly 30,000 people and organisations took the time to provide evidence, but over the last year, ministers haven’t shown willingness to let the evidence lead progress on this policy.” She further urged the new Defra Secretary to disclose the results and push forward with the fur ban.