Fur mislabelling scandal could lead to total ban

MPs recommend banning all real fur imports in wake of scandal

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell joins anti-fur protesters outside Parliament last month
(Image credit: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

The scandal surrounding the mislabelling of fake fur could lead to a complete ban on the sale of real imports.

An Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) Committee investigation has recommended a total ban on all types of animal fur in clothing and upholstery be considered after some real fur was found wrongly labelled as fake.

Investigations last year by Humane Society International (HSI), an animal welfare group, and broadcasters revealed high Street and online retailers including TK Maxx, BooHoo, Amazon and Tesco had all recently sold real fur as fake.

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MPs found that while many of the retailers concerned had no-fur policies, the so-called faux fur had actually come from animals including rabbit, fox and chinchilla.

HSI UK executive director Claire Bass told The Observer that importing farmed fur was a double standard, since the UK was the first country to ban fur farming.

Fur farming was banned in the Britain in 2000, “but it is legal to sell some types of real fur that have been imported, if it is accurately labelled” says the BBC.

The UK still imports and sells fur from a range of species such as fox, rabbit, mink, coyote, raccoon dog and chinchilla.

Last year Britain imported around £63m of real fur and exported products worth £33m, with some evidence that the popularity of fur is growing, the committee heard.

The committee said the current labelling system was “not fit for purpose” and was also not being properly enforced.

The government has been quick to seize on the issue, saying Brexit “gives us the opportunity to go further” than existing EU restrictions on the fur trade.

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