Thank you for writing to me about fur and foie gras.
The Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare will introduce a range of reforms to improve the welfare of animals at home and abroad and I have been strongly supporting our efforts on this.
As you may know, Fur farming has been banned in the UK for 20 years and there are already restrictions on some skin and fur products which may never be legally imported into the UK. The UK has established controls on fur from endangered species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and does not allow imports of fur from wild animals caught using methods which are non-compliant with international humane trapping standards.
I appreciate that there is considerable support for banning all imports of fur products. However, while there are existing import restrictions, it is still possible to import other fur from abroad. I therefore welcome the Government’s decision to seek views on animal welfare through a recent call for evidence, which will be used to inform any future decisions on the fur trade.
Regarding the production of foie gras, which you mention, I know that the Government is considering further steps in relation to foie gras produced overseas using force feeding practices, such as restrictions on import and sale. The method of production has been banned in the UK for over 15 years following the introduction of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which brought forward a legal requirement to provide for an animal’s welfare needs, such as supplying a suitable diet and protecting the animal from injury and disease. Under this legislation, it is a criminal offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking