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UK Government could be ditching plans to ban fur imports

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: Markus Spiske via Unsplash

The UK’s move to ban fur imports is reportedly in jeopardy after a number of government officials voiced their opposition to the legislation, citing consumer choice.

What was to be part of the Animals Abroad Bill and would have also prohibited foie gras imports, will possibly be scrapped after several cabinet ministers raised concerns about the ban.

While a final decision has not yet been made, a source close to the BBC said certain measures will be put on pause to allow other elements of the bill to progress.

Fur farming has been illegal in the UK since 2000, however, animal welfare activists have continued to push for a complete ban on fur imports from abroad.

The Animals Abroad Bill is part of a group of legislations drawn up to improve animal welfare, also including the hunting of animals for trophies. The bill has faced delay as disagreements on how it shall be enforced come to light.

Brexit opportunities minister Jacob Rees Mogg was among those raising concerns about personal choice, believing the government should not impose restrictions on consumers. He also added that the ban would have no impact on animal welfare in the UK.

Another argument by defence secretary Ben Wallace raised concerns about banning the bear fur used for military hats worn by the Queen’s guardsmen. Wallace claimed the material is responsibly sourced from a Canadian cull - a sentiment campaigners strongly disagree with.

It comes as the fashion industry welcomes a cohort of anti-fur movements internationally, with the likes of Moncler, Dolce & Gabanna and the Kering group going fur-free and Italy banning fur farming altogether. Additionally, magazine publisher Elle also declared it would be banning fur from appearing on its pages in future issues.

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