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Humane Society steps up pressure on Government to ban fur sales

Lauretta Roberts
02 July 2019

The Humane Society International is stepping up its pressure on the Government to ban fur sales in the UK following disturbing footage taken at one of France's remaining fur farms. MP Zac Goldsmith is backing the call.

Investigators from the One Voice association, which recently assisted France's Minister of Ecology on an inspection of a mink farm located in the area of Eure-et-Loir founded scenes of new born animals being left to die under the corpses of other animals, animals left dying in faeces and sometimes mummified animals left in cages.

The association decided to stop its investigation to launch the alert on this breeding farm and ask for its immediate closure. A complaint for acts of Cruelty was filed on 1 July against this breeder, SCEA des Aubépines.

While fur farming has been banned in the UK since 2000, Humane Society International, is now applying pressure for a ban on sales. HSI UK Director Claire Bass has said she will be sending the recent investigation footage to UK Ministers, urging them to support HSI’s campaign.

“I’ve seen first-hand the mental and physical suffering of animals on fur farms and it’s always appalling but this is some of the worst cruelty I’ve seen, right on our doorstep and from a country that exports millions of pounds of fur to the UK every year. In the wild mink are beautiful, intelligent and inquisitive little animals that dig and hunt and swim and range for miles, the animals in this investigation are like tormented and tragic doppelgangers," Bass said.

"The fur trade tries to peddle a myth of fur as elegant and glamorous but I would defy even the most hardened fur-wearer to look at this footage and see anything but misery. The UK was the first country in the world to ban fur farming, and we are fast gaining political support to blaze a trail as the first country to ban the sale of this cruel, outdated and unnecessary product," she added.

Zac Goldsmith, MP, who is supporting the campaign: "It's appalling that that despite having banned fur farming in this country more than fifteen years ago, we're still bankrolling the same cruelty - or if this footage is anything to go by, worse - by allowing the import and sale of fur from overseas. Brexit could give us the opportunity to close our borders to this grotesque and unnecessary trade."

Last year MPs of all parties held a landmark debate on banning the sale of fur in the UK, which gained widespread support but the Government has yet to take action.

The sale of some species of fur are already banned, such as domestic cat and dog and seal fur, but Britain still imports and sells fur from countries such as Finland, China, Italy and North America from a range of species such as fox, rabbit, mink, coyote, racoon dog and chinchilla. According to the most recent trade statistics from HMRC, in 2018 the UK imported over £70m of animal fur.

Last week Ireland's Government announced it would be implementing a ban on fur farming, phasing out its last three remaining fur farms.

The moves come as many big name designers and brand turn their back on real fur. Names such as Burberry, Gucci, Diane von Furstenberg, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier, Furla, Michael Kors, Tom Ford and Chanel are among those to have dropped fur from their collections.

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