We have some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world. In addition to fur farming being banned in the UK, the import of fur products is tightly regulated. It is also illegal to import furs derived from cats and dogs, and the fur and skin of endangered animals or fish cannot be imported without a valid permit.
In addition, it is prohibited to import furs or fur products from 13 wild animal species originating in countries where they are caught by leg-hold traps, or trapping methods that do not meet international standards of humane trapping. Strict rules are also in place to ensure that animals kept for fur production are kept, trapped and slaughtered humanely.
I appreciate that there is considerable support for banning all imports of fur products. Now that we have left the EU, the Government have retained all current regulations banning imports of cat and dog fur and seal products from commercial hunts, as well as controls on products from endangered species and humane trapping. Until the end of the transition period it is not possible to introduce additional restrictions on the fur trade, but once the transition period has concluded, the UK will have the unique opportunity to ensure we have the highest standards in all aspects of animal welfare. Until then, the UK will continue to support higher animal welfare standards worldwide, as the best way of phasing out cruel and inhumane fur farming and trapping practices that are banned here.
The UK will also be able to press for higher standards through international forums such as the World Organisation for Animal Health, CITES and others. The UK will retake our seat on these bodies and be more effective in supporting the promotion of improved animal welfare standards internationally.