I support the ban on fur farming in the UK. I would also support banning all imports of animal fur into the UK, including the fur of species that it is currently legal to sell in the UK (from foxes, mink, chinchilla, racoon dogs and coyotes).

Fur farming in the EU mainly involves minks and foxes. In the wild, these animals are predominately solitary and occupy large expanses of land (for example, male minks occupy around 2,500 acres of wetland territory). Those involved in the fur trade, though, are kept in small wire cages and studies have demonstrated that animals kept in this manner exhibit stereotypical symptoms of distress.

I welcomed the ban on fur farming in the UK and the 2006 Animal Welfare Act which put into law the most fundamental piece of animal welfare legislation for nearly a century. This Act set legal minimum standards for animal welfare and tougher penalties for cruelty against animals. It also introduced a new duty of care on people to ensure the needs of any animal for which they are responsible, and made it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal.

I would like to see animal welfare standards improve overseas as well as in the UK. National governments have a duty to work together to fight animal cruelty across the world and I therefore hope that we can continue to work with our neighbours across Europe to continue to raise welfare standards.

The Government has said that current arrangements for our environment will remain in place until we leave the EU. But I am concerned many environmental protections are at risk. I believe the Government needs to set out its strategy for the future and whether it remains committed to hard-won animal welfare and environmental protections.

Published 11/01/17

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