Thank you for writing to me about the fur trade. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.
I’m afraid that, as a matter of principle and like any other MPs, I don’t sign EDMs which have no real parliamentary function and yet are very expensive to administer. However, I appreciate your strength of feeling on this matter, and I am sympathetic to the thrust of your concerns.
I am proud that the UK has some of the highest welfare standards in the world. In addition to fur farming being banned in the UK, I am pleased to note that the import of fur products is tightly regulated.
It is illegal to import furs derived from cats or dogs, or products made from them. In addition, the fur and skin of endangered animals or fish cannot be imported without a valid permit.
As well as this, it is prohibited to import furs or fur products from 13 wild animal species originating in countries where they are caught in the wild by leg-hold traps, or trapping methods that do not meet international standards of humane trapping. Strict rules are also in place to ensure that animals kept for fur production are kept, trapped and slaughtered humanely.
I appreciate that there is considerable support for banning all imports of fur products. The UK continues to support higher animal welfare standards worldwide as the best way of phasing out cruel and inhumane fur farming and trapping practices that are banned here. Now we have left the EU, the Government has retained all the current regulations banning imports of cat and dog fur and seal products from commercial hunts, as well as controls on products from endangered species and humane trapping. Until the end of the transition period it is not possible to introduce additional restrictions on the fur trade because of continuing EU rules, but at the end of that period the UK will have a unique opportunity to ensure we have the highest standards in every area of animal welfare.
The UK will also be able to press for high standards through international forums such as the World Organisation for Animal Health, CITES and others. The UK will retake our seat on these bodies and be able more effectively to promote and support improved animal welfare standards internationally.
For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-animal-furs-skins-and-fish
As I say, I am proud of the UK’s strong welfare policies, and I will continue to support measures designed to protect these world leading standards.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking