Friday 25 September 2020

Sale of clothes containing fur in shops in Britain will be banned

The UK government is drawing up plans to prohibit the sale of clothes containing fur in shops after Britain leave the European Union's single market and customs union. This is the result of Brexit. The government is currently negotiating a Brexit agreement with the European Union and it looks more hopeful at the moment. 

The European Union banned the import and sale of fur from domestic cats and dogs across the EU in 2009. However, an investigation by the Humane Society International in the UK discovered that fur described as faux fur is in fact real and can be found in some clothes and shoes. Faux fur is not better than the real thing.

Objectionable fur clothing. Photo: Pixabay. Note: I am not criticising this man
who is probably a model. Also I am not sure if the fur is fake or genuine.

The point to make is this: it is very pleasing to animal advocates that the UK government is going to put an end to the sale of clothes containing fur in the UK starting next year (all being well) but they will have to be particularly observant and rigourous in weeding out real fur masquerading as faux fur. My research indicates that faux fur is actually more expensive to reduce than the real thing, which is a terrible indictment of the amount of cruelty perpetrated on captive animals who are killed for their skins.

Apparently the faux fur is cat fur. Retailers should take responsibility for ensuring that the fur on the clothes that they sell is genuinely false. They should trace the source and insist that their suppliers provide certificates that their products are genuinely faux fur. Genuine fur disguised as faux fur is apparently quite a big issue in the high street. Fur traders find ways to wriggle around regulations.

I sincerely hope that the British government get a handle on this. There are a lot of unscrupulous producers, wholesalers and retailers who don't care about animal welfare. Changing the law and banning the sale of fur in clothes in the High Street in the UK is not enough although very welcome. There needs to be strict enforcement which is going to prove very difficult.

The move to ban fur in shops is being driven by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park who is the Defra minister with responsibility for animal welfare. He is working, as I understand it, with Carrie Symonds, Boris Jonson's partner who as we all know is a keen animal advocate. The ban would be a strong signal of Britain's post-Brexit freedoms. It would be very popular because opinion polls have indicated that about 80% of Briton's think that fur on clothes are unacceptable nowadays. They dislike the trade in fur. Northern Ireland will be exempt from this proposal because they remain in the EU's single market and customs rules.

The British Fur Trade Association, as expected, say that the proposals are "irrational, illiberal and misjudged". Animal advocates would say the same thing about the association. It is time for change, there is no doubt about it.

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