UK post-Brexit fur ban hinted at
The UK government is considering banning the sale of fur in Britain after the Brexit transition is completed, secretary of state for the Environment, George Eustice, has confirmed.
In an interview with Times Radio, Eustice said: "We're looking at a number of issues in the animal welfare sphere. Fur is one area. We banned the production of fur since at least 2002 in this country, one of the countries in the world that's been first to outlaw its production.
"There are a number of areas where EU law has prevented us from being able to act. It's prevented us from being able to ban the live export of animals… and we would like to look at that".
He added: "On fur in particular you wouldn't be able to have a ban on sale because it would be a violation of the single market regulations. This is an area where the UK has always been a leader in this”.
Animal charity Humane Society International/UK, which leads the #FurFreeBritain campaign for a UK fur sales, welcomed the minister’s confirmation.
The Society’s executive director Claire Bass said: "Despite having banned fur farming here almost 20 years ago, each year the UK imports fur from around 2 million animals who will have suffered pitiful lives in tiny barren cages overseas, or been wild caught in brutal leg-hold traps.
“Not only are we trading in cruelty that polls show the British public overwhelmingly rejects, but fur farms are now also the focus of Covid-19 infection risks. So it’s very encouraging to hear the Environment Secretary acknowledge the opportunity we have from next month to set about ending the UK's involvement in this outdated, unnecessary and dangerous trade. We hope a consultation will be launched early in 2021".
Since 2003, the Humane Society claims the UK has allowed more than £800 million of fur to be imported from fur farms in France, Italy, Poland, China and other countries.
It added that, overall, the fur trade isn't significant to the UK economy. HMRC fur import data shows the UK imported over £55.9 million worth of fur in 2019. On average, around a third to a half of the UK's fur imports are re-exported to other countries.
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