Brexit triumph as UK leads the way on animal rights leaving ‘GRIM’ fur trade with EU
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The Government’s animal welfare minister, Lord Goldsmith, and Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds are believed to be leading the move. The action would forbid the sale of clothes with animal fur in shops after the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year.
The plans being considered by ministers would impact imports of nearly £200million from fur-based products every year.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will reportedly publish a consultation paper after the end of the Brexit transition period.
Leaked documents from Defra seen by The Daily Telegraph say that Lord Goldsmith met the executive director of Humane Society International, an anti-fur organisation, in May.
Lord Goldsmith reportedly asked the organisation’s director if there were any particular areas that the Government should research in terms of fur trade.
In 2018, Lord Goldsmith called the fur trade “one of the grimmest of human activities”.
He said the Government is “very keen” to take against the animal fur trade after the UK leaves the EU.
Last year, Lord Goldsmith told The Mirror: “We have some of the highest welfare standards in the world.
“Fur farming has rightly been banned in this country for nearly 20 years and at the end of the transition period we will be able to properly consider steps to raise our standards still further.”
He also argued that Brexit opened an opportunity for the UK to improve its standards on animal fur trade.
He said: “Whatever barriers may have prevented us from raising standards on imports at the point of entry will have gone.”
Lord Goldsmith added: “We will be free to decide whether we want to continue to import the proceeds of one of the grimmest of human activities.”
Last year, Ms Symonds called people who buy animal fur as “sick”.
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She has previously campaigned against whaling and reportedly convinced her fiancée Mr Johnson to axe a proposed badger cull in Derbyshire.
In the UK, fur farming has been banned since 2003.
But Britain still allows animal fur to be imported internationally with France being one of the major suppliers.
Under the signed Withdrawal Agreement, animal fur could still be imported into Northern Ireland.
Opinion polls have revealed that about 80 percent of the UK believe the fur trade is unacceptable.
The British Fur Trade Association, who represent importers and sellers of animal fur, said it will lobby against the “irrational, illiberal and misjudged” plans.
In a report, the organisation said: “Sales of natural fur in the UK have increased in recent years and are popular among younger age groups, as environmentally conscious consumers increasingly reject the mass-produced non-renewables epitomised by the fast fashion crisis and search out long lasting, sustainable natural materials.
“Yet, animal rights groups are now actively and vocally lobbying the British Government for fur sales to be banned in the UK using selective data, arguments and anecdotal evidence.
“Such shrill voices, of course, do not represent the ‘silent majority’ who do not support such a ban; opinions that should not be ‘cancelled’ but recognised and respected.
“Those that shout the loudest seldom have the support of the majority or their moral backing.”
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