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UK government urged not to drop fur import ban, says Humane Society International

Jeremy Lim
22 March 2022

Amid concerns that the UK government could be considering to abandon a ban on cruel fur imports, animal welfare non-profit, Born Free USA and Humane Society International have released an investigation report exposing the cruelty of animal trapping in the US for the fur trade.

Investigation findings reveal an undercover investigator accompanying three trappers out in the field in the US state of Iowa in November 2021 to witness how animals are trapped and killed for fur and recreation.

Harrowing details of evidence obtained from trapping include trapped raccoons being bludgeoned with a baseball bat causing protracted death, a trapper standing on the neck of a raccoon after the animal has been beaten with a bat and the bloody toe of a coyote torn off and left in the jaws of a trap during the animal’s escape.

The report also noted that the UK government had set out a clear ambition to be a "world leader in animal welfare" with action on fur imports pledged in its Action Plan for Animal Welfare last year, and repeated ministerial statements confirming that post-Brexit the UK would be free to explore opportunities for a ban.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International/UK, said: "This investigation provides a graphic account of the casual disregard for animal suffering that underpins the whole fur trade. As if it’s not enough to be caught for hours or even days in torturous traps that should belong only in horror films, the animals we filmed also endured protracted and violent deaths, being repeatedly bludgeoned and left to suffer, all to be skinned and sold for fur fashion.

"For as long as the UK continues to import and sell fur from animals caught in the wild or bred on factory fur farms, we remain complicit in this cruelty. I urge Boris Johnson to watch our video evidence to see for himself the abhorrent cruelty of the fur trade, and heed the enormous public support to ban fur. Britain must not be party to this nasty trade anymore."

In recent years, Canada Goose, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Gucci, Burberry, Versace, Chanel, Prada are among brands who have announced fur-free policies. In addition, major online fashion retail platforms Net-A-Porter, Farfetch and MyTheresa have adopted fur-free policies. The reported noted that Harrods, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Flannels are among the few remaining retailers to still sell fur in the UK.

Will Travers OBE, co-Founder and Executive President of Born Free, said: "Trapped: Exposing the Violence of Trapping in the U.S. has two objectives: to document the reality of trapping, where sentient beings are brutally exploited, and lives are ended with such casual disregard and lack of compassion; and to accelerate measures to bring an end to this cruel practice and its associated activities – including selling the skins of trapped animals for profit.

"As a species, we have done many things of which we can be justifiably proud. But not when it comes to trapping and the fur trade. This archaic throwback to the past is well beyond its sell-by date and is a stain on our humanity. It’s time we evolved. We implore lawmakers in the U.K., the U.S., and beyond, to take swift action to call time on trapping."

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