We are a nation of animal lovers, so it is only right that we have some of the highest welfare standards in the world. Fur farming in the UK has rightly been banned, with additional restrictions banning imports of fur derived from cats and dogs, which sadly still occurs in the world. As well as this, it is prohibited to import furs or fur products from 13 wild animal species originating in countries where they are caught in the wild by leg-hold traps, or trapping methods that do not meet international standards of humane trapping.
I appreciate that there is considerable support for banning all imports of fur products. In leaving the EU it was correct for the Government to retain all the current regulations banning imports of cat and dog fur and seal products from commercial hunts, as well as controls on products from endangered species and humane trapping and that is what has happened. However, until the end of the transition period it is not possible to introduce additional restrictions on the fur trade.
At the end of this period the UK will have a unique opportunity to ensure we have the highest standards in every area of animal welfare and as your Member of Parliament I will be standing up, as I do now, for the highest possible animal welfare protections. The UK will also be able to press for high standards through international forums such as the World Organisation for Animal Health, CITES and others. As we retake our seat on these bodies we will be able to more effectively promote and support improved animal welfare standards internationally.
I’m clear that there should be no place in this country for animal cruelty and we must ensure that those who abuse animals are met with the full force of the law. The Animal Welfare Act 2006, already makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal and I am in full support of strengthening welfare standards with the introduction of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill which is currently before Parliament.