We have just launched our new campaign to ban the sale & import of fur in the UK.
72% of people in the UK support a ban on the import and sale of fur, yet the UK imports around £75 million worth of fur every year, which equates to roughly three million dead animals.
While fur farming and the import of skin and fur products from commercial seal hunting and domestic cats and dogs was banned in Scotland in 2002, the sale of other furs, from foxes, rabbits, minks and racoon dogs can still legally be sold in Scotland and the UK. Due to the globalisation of the fur industry, it is also very difficult to know from which countries, and to which standards, the fur products sold in the UK have originated.
The UK, Welsh and Scottish governments are considering future policy on the fur trade. We want to let them know that there is no place for ‘products’ derived from such cruelty in the UK.
Is the fur industry cruel?
Over 100 million animals are condemned to suffering and death each year. The majority of these animals (an estimated 85%) killed for fur are raised at cruel fur farms.
Deprived of natural behaviours
Animals used by the fur industry are confined to small, barren cages for their entire lives. Such cramped conditions prevent animals from being able to express natural behaviours, such as digging and roaming large territories. Captive minks, in particular, are unable to swim and dive. Zoologists at Oxford University studied captive minks and found that these animals have not become domesticated and thus suffer greatly in captivity, particularly if not provided with opportunities to swim.
Poor mental health
Animals may self-mutilate, pace and attack, or even kill, their cages mates due to the stress imposed upon them by confinement.
Poor physical health
Animals on fur farms may suffer from poor physical health, including untreated wounds, deformities and infections.
Some animals may also be selectively bread for large size and therefore more fur, who as a result can barely move, see or breathe due to excessive folds of skin.
Cruel slaughter methods
The slaughter methods on fur farms are also incredibly cruel. Just before the animal turns one, they will be electrocuted- through probes inserted into the animals’ mouth or anus- gassed or beaten to death. Alternatively, they may have their neck broken or be poisoned with substances that lead to organ failure. In some cases, animals may even be skinned alive.
While the majority of animals (an estimated 85%) killed for fur are raised at cruel fur farms, animals are also targeted in the wild. Animals, such as coyotes, are trapped with cruel and archaic traps, such as snares or leg-hold traps. Leg-hold traps have been banned in the UK for decades as they are cruel and archaic.
These animals may then be suffocated, bludgeoned or beaten to death and their fur sold into the fur industry.
Is the import, sale and export of fur banned in other countries?
India has banned the import of mink, fox and chinchilla fur. The US state of California has banned the sale and production of new fur items starting in 2023.
In June 2021 Israel became the first country to ban the sale of fur, though permits may still be given to allow the sale of fur for scientific research, education, and religious or traditional purposes.
The UK government has an opportunity to live up to its ambition to be a world leader in animal welfare, by becoming the first country in the world to implement a complete ban on the import and sale of fur.
How can I help?
Take action against the cruel fur industry by responding to the UK Government’s consultation on the import and sale export of fur. Our consultation response guide will assist you in responding to the consultation.