On Wednesday 25 January, we were joined in Parliament by dozens of MPs and Peers, celebrities and campaigners, as we launched a new report and investigation exposing the cruelty of the global fur trade with our colleagues from Human Society International/UK. Together we called on all present to work together to end the UK’s association with the fur trade once and for all by banning the import and sale of fur in this country.
In January 2003, the Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act 2000 came into effect in the UK, and the last remaining fur farms were shut down for good. The UK had finally recognised that the keeping of wild animals to be farmed for their fur was both unethical and abhorrently cruel and no longer wanted a part in the trade.
However, 20 years on and we are still importing cruelty into our stores.
At the Parliamentary reception, I delivered a speech launching our report that makes the case that 2023 must be the year we finally achieve a fur free Britain. I reminded MPs that whilst we continue to allow fur to be imported and sold in the UK, we are guilty of hypocrisy and exercising a double standard. Furthermore, I spoke about how globally, the UK is lagging behind and propping up a dying industry. This sentiment was echoed by HSI/UK’s Senior Director Claire Bass who closed the reception by reminding everyone that “the future of fashion is fur free so the sooner we stop trading in cruelty the sooner the suffering overseas stops.”
Introducing the new investigation from HSI/UK was TV personality Pete Wicks. His visible emotion and words left everyone in the room affected when he recalled witnessing the cruelty first-hand on a fur farm in Finland and said, “nothing can prepare you for how truly awful the fur trade is for these poor animals.”
There is already considerable cross-party political support for the issue, including from the Labour Party’s frontbench. We were delighted that Shadow Environment Minister Daniel Zeichner MP, hosted the event with us and confirmed that a Labour Government would take action to end our double standards and deliver a fur free Britain. His commitment to a ban on the import and sale of fur was echoed by Elliot Colburn, Conservative MP for Carshalton and Wallington. Both MPs were united in agreement about the need for the Government to not only publish the results of the call for evidence in which 30,000 responses were collated, but also for the UK to stop outsourcing cruelty overseas.
At the reception we launched a brand new Government e-petition, aiming to achieve 100,000 signatures so we can try and secure a debate on this issue in Parliament.
In order to continue demonstrating the overwhelming support from MPs for a fur free Britain, we also announced a cross-party letter to the Environment Secretary and we’re encouraging as many MPs and Peers as possible to sign on ahead of the next Parliamentary debate.
You can help make this much needed debate happen in Parliament by signing the petition (if you haven’t already) and sharing it with your friends and family.