Government urged to ban the importation of fur products and be 'example to the world' – Mirror Online

Credit: Original article can be found here

The government has been urged to ban the importation of fur products quickly before entering into any new trade deals and to become an example to the rest of the world on animal welfare.

The UK has applied to join a free trade area with 11 Asia and Pacific nations.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – or CPTPP – members include Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand. Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are also founder members of the bloc, which was established in 2018.

Joining the bloc would reduce tariffs on UK exports, such as whisky and cars, as well as the service industries but could come with conditions impacting future UK laws, such a ban on the importation of fur products.

Last summer the government said it was an issue they would consider once we’d formally left the EU.

The Mirror’s Fur Free Britain campaign has had a boost

The Mirror’s Fur Free Britain campaign has had a boost (Image: Yevgeny Sofroneyev/TASS)

In a boost for the Mirror’s Fur Free Britain campaign, the Shadow Secretaries of State for International Trade, for the Environment, and for Business – Emily Thornberry, Luke Pollard and Ed Milliband have written a letter to Liz Truss, secretary for international trade, expressing their collective support for an outright ban on the “barbarous and unnecessary” import of fur and fur products into the United Kingdom.

The letter reads: “You have personally extolled the benefits of the UK controlling our own trade policy outside the European Union, but that will mean little if we do not move to set our own rules on issues such as fur imports, which we were unable to do unilaterally as a member of the EU.

“It is particularly important that you act quickly and clearly in this area so that the issue of fur imports does not become a bargaining chip in the negotiation of new or deeper trade agreements with fur-producing nations such as the United States, Canada and Mexico or or the UK’s now formally-proposed accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.”

If the law was passed we would become the first country in the world to ban both the production and import of fur.

The letter continues: “Britain led the way in abolishing fur farming two decades ago, but we still contribute significantly to this cruel and outdated global trade by importing and exporting tens of millions of pounds worth of fur and fur products each year.

More than 100 million animals worldwide are bred and killed for their fur

More than 100 million animals worldwide are bred and killed for their fur (Image: Getty Images/EyeEm)

“Annually, more than 100 million animals worldwide are bred and killed for their fur, living their short lives in miserable, painful confinement.

“Millions more are trapped in the wild, left in agony for long periods before they are killed.

“All too often nowadays, this dreadful suffering is endured simply to provide the fur trim on gloves, hats, hoods, and other fashion accessories.”

Last summer Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith,said the Government is “very keen” to take action once our relationship with the EU is established.

Last summer Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith,said the Government is “very keen” to take action once our relationship with the EU is established.

He told the Mirror: “We have some of the highest welfare standards in the world.

“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.”

Claire Bass, executive director of HSI U.K, who is campaigning alongside the Mirror, said: “It’s very encouraging to see such unequivocal support for a fur sales ban from key members of Labour’s Shadow Cabinet.

“Trade deals clearly present huge economic potential for the UK, but they also give the government a platform to deliver on its stated ambition to be a ‘world leader’ in animal welfare, and one of the most tangible ways it can do this is to stop importing cruelty.

“In the age of truly global trade it’s not enough to say ‘not in our backyard’, we have to stop providing markets for cruel industries to thrive further afield.

“Trade deals will focus on industries of mutual economic importance, so fur is unlikely to be a red line issue on negotiation tables. For example, according to HMRC stats, the U.K.

“imported less than £1.5million worth of fur from CPTPP member nations in 2019.

“The low value of the trade coupled with the strong public support for a ban clearly gives our Government both a mandate and opportunity for action.”

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