Fur Trims (December 2016)

Thank you for contacting me about the fur trade and particularly the use of fur as fashion 'trims'.

I am pleased that the government already supports the highest standards of animal welfare and that the importation of fur products is tightly regulated. As you mentioned in your email it is currently illegal to import furs derived from cats or dogs, or indeed products made from them. In addition the fur and skin of endangered animals or fish cannot be imported without a valid permit.

At the present time, under European regulations, 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 by trapping methods that do not meet international humane standards. Strict rulings are in also place in the European Union to ensure that animals kept for fur production are looked after, trapped and slaughtered humanely. With such an extensive regulatory framework already established, it is important that the fashion industry take some responsibility for monitoring its own behaviour. 

Once the UK has withdrawn from the EU it will be for the Government to consider future policies, taking into account the outcome of exit negotiations. I am certainly not aware of any intention to lessen the existing standards, and will be interested to monitor the position as it develops.

Thank you once again for emailing me and please do not hesitate to contact me about this or any other issue that you feel I may be able to assist with.