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Illicit Fur Trade

Volume 730: debated on Thursday 30 March 2023

We currently restrict imports of fur and fur products from cats and dogs, fur from wild animals caught using non-compliant trapping methods, and fur from endangered species. We will continue to enforce those restrictions very strongly.

The Government have boasted of their world-leading record on animal welfare, but they have done nothing to tackle the abhorrent global trade in fur. The last Labour Government banned fur farming in the United Kingdom. Having dropped the planned animals abroad Bill, will the Government commit to introducing legislation to ban the import and sale of fur, and end this country’s involvement in the global fur trade?

The hon. Gentleman is correct: fur farming has been banned since 2000 in England and Wales and since 2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. We published a formal call for evidence on the fur trade, and we received around 30,000 responses, which we are currently considering, but we have an incredibly strong record with our plan for animal welfare.

The global trade in fur costs millions of animals their lives every year. The Government’s call for evidence on the fur market in Great Britain closed in June 2021. I thank the Minister for telling us how many responses there were, but since then, there has been no word from the Department on whether the ban on the import and sale of fur will be introduced. Over three quarters of voters support a ban on fur imports. When will the results of the call for evidence be published, so that this country can see what experts really think and we can legislate? Does she agree that fur is best on the back of the animal, not on the back of a human?

We have committed to exploring potential action in relation to animal fur, as set out in the action plan for animal welfare. We have conducted the call for evidence, and we continue to build on our evidence base on the fur sector, which will be used to inform any future action on the fur trade.