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HSI claims UK government suppressing info on public opposition to fur



A complete ban on UK fur imports and sales has been called for by the Humane Society International/UK, which says the government has been suppressing information on the sale of public opposition to fur.

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The move by the animal protection organisation comes after the publication of an email from former Environment Secretary George Eustice that reveals 96% of 30,000 respondents to the government’s ‘Call for Evidence’ on the fur market in Great Britain “strongly agreed that it is wrong for animals to be killed for fur”. 

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request detailing correspondence between Eustice and Mairi Gougeon, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, found that in December 2021 Eustice confirmed this result of the Call for Evidence.

He said: “The government will therefore take forward a ban on the import and sale of fur”. 

In February 2022, Gougeon confirmed in a reply that “the Scottish Ministers support, in principle, the initiative to prohibit the import and sale in Great Britain of fur to address the public moral objection to any rearing or killing of animals purely for their fur”. 

HSI/UK, which leads the FurFreeBritain campaign , welcomed the news and renewed its call for the full results of the Call for Evidence to be published and for a UK fur import ban.

Despite banning fur farming in 2003 on animal welfare grounds, the UK still imports and sells fur from other countries including Finland and China. HMRC records show that in 2022, the UK imported over £41.9 million of fur, which HSI/UK estimates to be equivalent to over 1 million animals. 

HSI UK’s Claire Bass said: “The government ran a Call for Evidence on the UK fur trade in May 2021 and has been inexplicably sitting on the results ever since.

“Nearly 30,000 people and organisations took the time to provide evidence, but over the last year ministers haven’t shown willing to let evidence lead progress on this policy. 

“We urge the new Defra Secretary [the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Steve Barclay] to release the results and then move forward with a ban.”

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