UK Parliament will debate banning the importation and sale of fur on June 4, after a petition on the topic garnered more than 100,000 signatures.
The petition called for a ban on selling fur in the UK, saying: “Fur farming was banned in England and Wales in 2000, followed by Scotland in 2002.
“However fur products can still be legally imported from other countries and sold here in the UK. Much of this fur comes from countries that have very weak or no animal welfare laws at all.”
Petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are almost always debated – unless the issue has been recently debated by politicians or if there is already a debate scheduled for the near future.
In anticipation of the debate, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “While some fur products may never be legally imported into the UK the Government’s view is that national bans are less effective than working at an international level on animal welfare standards.”
It added: “The UK Government is a world leader in animal welfare standards and takes animal cruelty very seriously.
“Regarding the fur industry specifically, we are working at an international level to agree global animal welfare standards and phase out cruel and inhumane farming and trapping practices.
“We believe this is the best way to prevent animal cruelty and that this approach will lead to a much higher level of animal welfare standards.
“Our international efforts to bring about higher standards are supported by strict EU rules and regulations around fur imports, regulations that apply to both the UK and wider EU.”
The Government has pledged to ensure that these controls are not removed once the UK leaves the EU.
The debate will follow a national campaign to ban the sale of fur in the UK.
Earlier this week Queen guitarist Brian May joined animal-protection campaigners outside 10 Downing Street to hand in an additional petition with more than 400,000 signatures urging Prime Minister Theresa May to introduce a UK animal-fur import ban.
The petition forms part of the Fur Free Britain campaign by UK animal charities, including PETA.
A Fur Free Britain campaign spokesperson said: “Hundreds of thousands of British people have supported our call for a Fur Free Britain, so we hope Mrs May will take decisive action to address the current double standard on fur cruelty.
“Britain made its stance on fur clear almost two decades ago by banning fur farming because it’s unethical, so it makes no sense to still be importing hundreds of millions of pounds of fur from animals who have endured horrific cruelty in other countries.
“It’s time the UK pulled the plug on the fur trade.”