Over 425,000 members of the public have signed a petition urging Prime Minister Theresa May to introduce a UK animal-fur import ban.
The Humane Society International UK and People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals, together with other leading charities and Queen guitarist and animal advocate Brian May CBE, handed in the petition with 425,834 signatures at No 10 Downing Street on Monday morning. "In the light of the now proven appalling cruelty to animals in the production of fur, it's time to make a stand," said Brian May in a statement. "Fur that did not grow on us has no place in a decent society."
The move comes after the animal charities joined forces with more than thirty UK celebrities to launch the #FurFreeBritain campaign and sent a letter to the Prime Minister. "Hundreds of thousands of British people have supported our call for a Fur Free Britain, so we hope Mrs May will take decisive action to address the current double standard on fur cruelty," added a Fur Free Britain campaign spokesperson.
"Britain made its stance on fur clear almost two decades ago by banning fur farming because it's unethical, so it makes no sense to still be importing hundreds of millions of pounds of fur from animals who have endured horrific cruelty in other countries. It's time the UK pulled the plug on the fur trade." The Fur Free Britain Campaign is calling on the government to use Brexit as an opportunity to make the UK a fur-free zone. Even though the UK has banned fur farming, it still imports and sells fur from a variety of species, including foxes, rabbits, minks, coyotes, raccoon dogs, and chinchillas.
The petition signatures were collected as part of the Fur Free Britain campaign by the UK animal charities Humane Society International UK, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Four Paws, Animal Aid, Brian May's SAVE ME TRUST, Viva!, The Jane Goodall Institute UK, and Open Cages as well as social network Care2. More than a quarter of the signatures handed in were gathered for a UK Government and Parliament petition initiated by citizen campaigners Diane Bartlett and Catherine Reda, which met its goal of 100,000 signees last week, triggering a parliamentary debate on the UK fur trade, which is set to take place in June.
The petition hand in follows on from San Francisco becoming the first major US city to go fur-free and leading fashion brands and retailers, such as Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors,DKNY, Donna Karan and Yoox Net-a-Porter pledging to go fur-free.
Photos: Courtesy of the HSI UK