One thing we’ve learnt from the current global pandemic is that we cannot continue using animals the way we have been. Whether it be for food or clothing – our demand for animal products has led to the creation of industrial farming with close confinement of animals who are usually genetically very similar, creating the perfect breeding ground for deadly viruses to spread. The proof of this is now beginning to surface in different areas of factory farming, including two fur farms in the Netherlands that were recently put into quarantine after mink tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.
Fur is an example of how we have confined wild animals to small, filthy cages in their millions in order to produce frivolous fashion items, the production of which is also destroying the planet. That’s why issues such as fur matter, and it’s so important that we stop supporting this cruel industry in the UK.
Although fur farming has been illegal in Britain since 2002, we are still funding the industry as a major buyer of fur products. In 2019, the UK imported around £55 million worth of fur, and items containing fur (such as fur trim). Recent polling shows 74% of Brits think that using animals for the production of fur is wrong. So with the majority of the UK public against fur, why are we paying for a significant percentage of the 140 million animals who are killed for fur every year?
Our new campaign Wear it Kind calls for more compassion in fashion, and it does seem that we are beginning to see a global shift as the fashion industry embraces a new approach. Ethical fashion is taking over catwalks, designer labels and moving into the mass market as shoppers call for clothing that is cool and kind. Just last week, Mulberry announced a ban on exotic skins! An additional 1000 fashion labels including Chanel, Prada, H&M, Michael Kors, Gucci, and Armani have all committed to fur free policies through the Fur Free Retailer global program, not only prioritising animal welfare and consumer demands, but also supporting an end to fur’s image as a ‘luxury’ item.
There are also numerous national bans on fur farming across the world and as the UK government continue to drag their heels on this topic, local councils are instead stepping up. Oldham Council banned fur in 2018, followed by Islington Council the following year. Sales of fur are now also banned at Camden and Old Spitalfields Markets. It’s critical that the UK government do not delay this any longer, and put an end to fur in the UK once and for all.
How you can help:
An Early Day Motion has recently been tabled, urging the government to introduce legislation to ban both the import and sale of fur in the UK. We, and the other members of the Fur Free Britain campaign including Humane Society International, need your help to ensure this EDM gets as much support as possible.
Please take the following steps to ask your MP to sign the EDM to ban fur imports and sales in the UK:
1. Find and contact your MP here
2. Click on 'Send a message' and copy and paste the following text:
At such a critical time, we need to change how we treat animals. Fur farms are breeding grounds for deadly viruses, and no animal should die for fashion. Please sign this EDM to ban fur sales and imports in the UK once and for all: https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/56726/r...
3. Send the message and ask friends and family to do the same.
At such trying times, it has never been more important to call for change. As a nation of animal lovers, now is our chance to make fur history in the UK.
Find out more: www.four-paws.org.uk
Jenny Canham – Campaigns Officer at FOUR PAWS UK
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