- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
More than fifty celebrities have teamed up with animal protection groups including Humane Society International UK, PETA and the RSPCA to urge prime minister Boris Johnson to ban the sale of fur in the UK.
Celebrities including Dame Judi Dench, Brian May, Leona Lewis, Thandie Newton, Alesha Dixon, Ricky Gervais, Mollie King and Dame Twiggy Lawson, have co-signed a letter calling on the prime minister to ensure a 2021 fur sale ban now that the Brexit transition is completed.
The letter which is also signed by Simon Pegg, Joanna Lumley, Laura Whitmore, and Natalie Imbruglia, reads: “As long as Britain allows the sale of cruel fur from overseas, we remain complicit in an industry that causes immense animal suffering, environmental harm, and also presents risks to human health through the spread of deadly viruses. It is not enough to say that we have banned fur cruelty from our own back yard, we must stop outsourcing that same cruelty from overseas.”
Fur farming was banned in Britain almost two decades ago in 2003 as it was deemed too cruel, but since then the UK has imported more than 800 million pounds worth of fur from countries including Finland, China, France and Poland, where animals experience severe suffering and distress on fur farms, explains the animal protection groups.
The #FurFreeBritain campaign run by animal charities Humane Society International UK, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (UK), Four Paws UK, Open Cages, RSPCA, Animal Aid, Viva! And Brian May’s Save Me Trust, want what it calls the “double standards” to end and for the prime minister to listen to MPs as the campaign has received cross-party political support from 140 MPs who have signed Early Day Motion 267 against real fur imports.
Last autumn, Defra minister Lord Goldsmith stated: “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. That is something the Government is very keen to do.”
Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said: “Fur is cruel and unnecessary, and a fur sales ban would command support from the vast majority of the public, politicians, designers and retailers. This letter from some of the country’s top celebrities proudly backing a ban on fur cruelty sends a clear message to Boris Johnson that Britain must no longer be an accomplice in the suffering of millions of animals for frivolous fur fashion. When the selling stops, the suffering will too.”
A 2020 YouGov opinion poll also revealed that 93 percent of the British population reject wearing real animal fur, and the majority (72 percent) support a full ban on the sale of fur in the UK.
Elisa Allen, director, Peta UK added: “The overwhelming majority of British people oppose the fur trade, in which animals are gassed, electrocuted, and even skinned alive. We’re calling on the government to seize this opportunity to take a stand against needless cruelty and be a world leader by creating a fur-free Britain.”
Every year more than 100 million animals are killed for their fur worldwide including mink, fox, raccoon dog, chinchilla and rabbit, which equates to three animals dying every second, just for fur.
Images: courtesy of Humane Society International UK / #FurFreeBritain campaign