A petition, “Ban the sale of animal fur in the UK”, on the UK government’s website, gathered 109,549 signatures which qualifies the topic to be debated in the UK Parliament. Parliament will debate the petition on 4 June 2018.
The government’s response to the petition is that they prefer to work at an international level to endeavour to improve animal welfare standards in other countries rather than impose a national ban on the sale of animal fur in the UK.
My response to that is, “why can’t they do both?” There’s nothing stopping them both banning the sale of animal fur in the UK and simultaneously working with other countries to improve their animal welfare standards.
Therefore I disagree intensely with the government response. The truth is that it is almost impossible to improve animal welfare standards in other countries because we have little or no authority over other countries. History proves this. I think we are rather arrogant in the UK in believing that we can change the minds and attitudes of other national governments. What we can do successfully is ban the sale of animal fur in this country. That, of its own, will make animal fur production businesses in other countries less profitable.
It will also make other countries more aware of the need for animal welfare laws and the objectionable nature of animal fur businesses. As far as I’m concerned the world is far beyond the time when it should completely ban all animal fur businesses.
The UK government say that strict EU rules and regulations concerning fur imports into the UK include a blanket ban on the importing of furs from a number of animals including cats and dogs as well as seal skins and products.
Secondly they say that regulations ensure that any fur imported into the UK comes from animals which have been kept and treated humanely. I would like to challenge that assertion. I would bet my last dollar that they have no idea whether these animals are treated humanely.
The UK government, through the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, also state that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) controls the fur from an endangered species. The truth is though that this convention is a loosely enforced international agreement which is routinely ignored and abused by primarily Asian countries. In addition other countries never enforce this convention adequately or at all. This leads to a multi $1 billion annual trade in animal parts including furs. It’s just all so much hubris and mumbo-jumbo from the UK government.
It would be far better for the UK to do something which they can achieve and which is very tangible: carry out the terms of the petition in full and ban the sale of animal fur in the country. And while they are doing that they should do far more research into the shocking fact that true animal fur is cheaper than imitation fur nowadays. In addition it is very difficult to tell the difference between the two. Far greater concern should be placed upon this troubling situation.
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