UK celebrities sign letter urging ban of fur imports
Some of the UK’s biggest celebrity stars have joined a campaign urging PM Theresa May to introduce a UK ban on animal fur imports, a decision that would essentially end the sale of real fur in Britain.
Judi Dench, Andy Murray, Ricky Gervais, and Twiggy are some of the stars that signed an open letter to show their support for the #FurFreeBritain campaign, ahead of a UK Government and Parliament petition approaching its 23 March deadline. Almost 98,000 people have signed the petition, which requires 100,000 signatures to trigger a parliamentary debate.
Whilst fur farming has been illegal in the UK since 2000, animal fur imports continue to be common. According to the Humane Society International, Britain has imported over £650 million worth of fur over the last 17 years. The fur of a variety of species, including foxes, rabbits, minks, coyotes, raccoon dogs and chinchillas, are still widely available to purchase across the country.
Meanwhile, more than 100 million animals are estimated to suffer each year for the global fur trade, enduring physical and psychological torment in small, barren cages for their entire lives before being killed by gassing or electrocution and skinned.
“Mrs May, the animal fur arriving in British ports is from animals who have suffered a lifetime in tiny barren cages, often driven insane by neglect. It is from animals who have been brutally electrocuted or gassed, and sometimes even skinned alive. It is from animals caught and left for days in barbaric leg-hold traps. They endure all of this to then have their fur processed into a frivolous trim on a hat, coat, shoe or handbag. We should not trade on their suffering,” said the letter.
Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International UK, which is running the #FurFreeBritain campaign, said: "We are delighted that so many of the UK's best-loved celebrities have spoken out in favour of a Fur Free Britain. Their words echo the calls from the vast majority of the British public who want to see an end to animal fur being imported onto our shores.”
The campaign is calling on the government to make the UK a fur-free zone by extending existing bans on imports of cat, dog, and seal fur to all fur-bearing species. But as a member of the European Single Market, Britain won’t be able to make these changes until Brexit.
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