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British parliament committee appeals to ban fur in fashion trade

Staff Writer | July 23, 2018
A call for a complete ban on real fur being used in Britain's clothing industry was made Sunday by a group of politicians in a House of Commons report.
fur in fashion
Britain   The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee made its call
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee made its call following an investigation which revealed some garments labelled as using fake fur were actually made with real fur from animals such as rabbit, fox and chinchilla.

The committee whether, longer-term, Britain's departure from the European Union could provide an opportunity for the UK Government to change legislation around the import of fur.

It is not illegal to buy or sell fur, and although fur farming has been banned in Britain since 2000 it is legal to sell some types of real fur that have been imported, if it is accurately labelled.

High profile investigations over the last few years have highlighted examples where consumers, believing they are purchasing fake fur, have bought items containing real fur.

Many consumers, says the report, make a decision not to buy fur on ethical and animal welfare grounds, but choose to buy fake fur, made of synthetic fibres. In recent years, there have been high-profile cases of real fur being sold as fake faux fur by major high-street and online retailers.

Neil Parish, chair of the committee said: "Reports of real fur being sold as fake fur shows that retailers are flouting their responsibility to consumers. The mis-selling of real fur should not be discovered by campaign organizations and the media, but by Trading Standards officers and retailers."

Parish said retailers had been complacent about the issue of fake faux fur, saying it is illegal to give misleading information, but adding that trading standards departments had been poor at identifying and acting against wrongdoers.

He said current EU requirements are not good enough to allow customers to understand the origin and contents of their clothing.

The Humane Society International UK (HSI) told the committee that due to "high-volume, low-welfare intensive farming of animals", real fur could be produced and sold more cheaply than fake fur

Many of the items mis-sold as fake fur were small items, and low in price, including fur trims on hats and gloves, pom-poms on hats and clothing, and fur trims on footwear.

The committee has called for the introduction of a new mandatory labelling regime that identifies fur and other animal products accurately. The fur label should show the species of fur, the country of origin and method of production.

The politicians have also recommended that the government should hold a public consultation to consider whether to ban the sale and import of fur post-Brexit, saying the needs of animal welfare will have to be balanced against consumer choice.