UK considering outright ban on fur sales after Brexit

Photo: Alex Hofford / EPA

© Provided by The Guardian
Photo: Alex Hofford / EPA

Fur sales could be banned after Brexit after environmental ministry plans are reviewed.

The UK was the first country in Europe to ban fur farming in 2000, but some furs are still legal for sale in that country and across the EU.

The move towards an outright ban is reportedly spearheaded by Tory colleague Zac Goldsmith, minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and a close friend of Boris Johnson's partner Carrie Symonds, who last year described anyone who wanted to Buy fur as "really sick".

Furs exhibited at a Hong Kong fur and fashion fair in 2015.

© Photo: Alex Hofford / EPA
Furs exhibited at a Hong Kong fur and fashion fair in 2015.

Once the UK leaves the single market, it will have the power to unilaterally ban fur sales, which is currently being considered.

A Defra spokeswoman said: “We have some of the highest welfare standards in the world and this is both a source of pride and a clear reflection of Britain’s attitude towards animals.

“Fur farming has rightly been banned in this country for almost 20 years. Once our future relationship with the EU is established, the government will have the opportunity to consider further steps related to fur sales. "

Ethical Animal Treatment People who have campaigned against fur sales for decades already say hundreds of fashion designers and brands – including Coach, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Versace – already do stopped using fur.

Peta helped change the face of activism with nakedness and blood to get its message across. Many of his ads were banned, but his “I'd rather go naked than wear fur” tagline, used in campaigns with celebrities such as model Naomi Campbell, actress Eva Mendes, and musician Pink, had such a resonance that he was more than 30 years survived decades before his retirement that year.

Goldsmith reportedly met with anti-fur organization Humane Society International in May to investigate issues surrounding the fur trade.

Government sources said that during the Brexit transition period, which ends on December 31, "it is not possible to introduce restrictions on fur trade as it would restrict freedom of movement within the EU single market".

But once Brexit happens, "the government will have an opportunity to consider further steps on fur sales".

Goldsmith argued that Brexit meant that "any obstacles that could have prevented us from raising standards on imports at the time of entry" had disappeared.

The British Fur Alliance is preparing to fight any moves to ban sales, arguing that natural fur is an antidote to environmentally harmful cheap fashion and should not be banned for ethical reasons.

“Natural fur is inextricably linked with the environment: It is a sustainable material that represents heritage, quality and individuality. Environmental protection is one of the foundations of the contemporary fur trade and fur is part of the solution to the “fast” fashion problem, ”they say.

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