Thank you for contacting me about the fur trade.
I support the highest standards of animal welfare so in addition to fur farming being banned in the UK, I am pleased to note that the importation of fur products is tightly regulated. It is illegal to import furs derived from cats or dogs, or products made from them; in addition the fur and skin of endangered animals or fish cannot be imported without a valid permit.
Meanwhile, it is prohibited to import furs or fur products from 13 wild animal species originating in countries where they are caught in the wild 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 imports of fur products, but the truth is that it would be difficult to introduce such a ban while we remain in the EU and subject to single market rules. It is important to remember the UK represents only a tiny proportion, about a quarter of a percent, of the global market.
Outside the EU, the UK will be able to press for high standards through international forums such as the World Organisation for Animal Health, CITES and others. Once we have left the EU we will retake our seat on these bodies and be able once again to promote and support improved animal welfare standards internationally.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.