Pledge to ban fur farming

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Indy Politics

The Government today said it would honour its pre-election pledge to ban fur farming in Britain stating it believed it was wrong to keep animals for slaughter to exploit the value of their fur.

The Government today said it would honour its pre-election pledge to ban fur farming in Britain stating it believed it was wrong to keep animals for slaughter to exploit the value of their fur.

The proposed Bill announced today will prohibit the keeping of animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur.

However, it will not prohibit the keeping of animals where the primary purpose is the production of meat and fur is a by-product, nor the production of fur which can be clipped or shorn.

The Bill will provide some compensation for existing fur farmers and there will be a winding-down period until at least the end of 2002.

Under the terms of the Bill, anyone guilty of an offence of keeping animals for slaughter for their fur could be fined up to £20,000 by the courts and any animals subject to a forfeiture.

Mark Glover, campaigns director of anti-fur group Respect for Animals, said the Bill would be the culmination of a 15-year fight to stamp out fur farming.

He said: "The Government ban on fur factory farming is long awaited, but ground-breaking legislation, designed to stop the brutal suffering and deaths of animals merely for their skins.

"We applaud this step as a first move in a worldwide campaign to ban the 10 billion dollar international fur industry."

Mr Glover said the announcement was in line with public thinking which showed that 76% of the British population are opposed to fur farming.

There are now only 13 registered mink farms left in Britain compared with around 70 in the mid-80s but British fur farms still kill up to 100,000 animals every year.

A spokeswoman for the British Fur Trade Association said the fur industry would fight the Bill.

She said: "This is unjust. It is wrong to just ban one small agricultural sector when all the evidence is that fur farmers take full account of animal welfare conditions.

"The public's view of fur farming maybe due to the fact that the public has been misinformed. This will destroy the livelihoods of families involved in the industry and have knock-on effects on the communities they contribute to."

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