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Campaign and petition email responses | Sales and Imports of Fur Must be Banned

Campaign and petition email responses

Sales and Imports of Fur Must be Banned

Animal welfare is an area which the SNP takes extremely seriously. The SNP has been vocal in addressing concerns in this area and is committed in the Scottish Government’s program for government to take steps to strengthen animal welfare legislation.

The farming of animals for fur has been illegal in the United Kingdom since January 2003; and the importation of cat and dog fur has been illegal since December 2008. The import, export and the sale of cat and dog fur is already banned in the EU.

However there is no blanket ban at an EU level on fur trading and the regulation of international trade remains reserved to Westminster.

SNP MPs have several times signed EDMs calling on a ban on fur imports, EDM 267 in 2020 and EDM 193 in 2021. The SNP rightly seek a ban on the imports of animal fur to ensure we retain the highest animal welfare standards and cruelty free practices.

SNP MP Patricia Gibson questioned the Leader of the House on the 24th of February 2022 on committing to a ban: “The Government say that they want to be a world leader on animal welfare. However, despite a ban on the production of animal fur products and foie gras in the UK, there is, as of yet, no ban on imports of these horrifically cruel and completely unnecessary products. Will the Leader of the House make a statement setting out his opposition to importing those products into the UK? Will he introduce legislation ensuring that such imports, which allow the UK simply to outsource its animal cruelty, are banned as soon as possible?”

SNP MP Allan Dorans also raised this issues with the UK Government on the 3rd of March 2022 on rumours the UK Government were dropping their intention to ban animal fur and foie gras imports, saying: “My constituents and elsewhere are very angry that the Government are considering dropping the proposed ban on foie gras and fur imports, when there are perfectly acceptable alternatives to both that do not involve cruelty to animals. Foie gras involves the force feeding of ducks and geese to fatten and enlarge their livers, and fur imports into the UK involve animals being kept in cages that are far too small. How can the Government continue to claim that the United Kingdom is a world leader on animal welfare?”

The UK Government previously committed to banning the imports of fur, which the Scottish Government continues to advocate, but news that the Animals Abroad Bill has been dropped which sought to implement border controls on fur and foie gras imports is deeply disappointing and shows this Prime Minister does not hold animal welfare to the highest of standards as much as the electorate in the 4 nations of the UK do.

It is imperative the UK Government gets a grip and better protects animals. My SNP colleagues and I continue to urge the UK Government to make the right decision, listen to the people, and to morality, and prohibit the import of fur and foie gras products.

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@StewartMcDonald on Twitter