Growing Number Of Lord Mayors Swear Off Fur In Robes
For Immediate Release:
22 July 2013
Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk
London – After receiving a letter from PETA explaining the cruelty involved in fur production as well as the British public's overwhelming opposition to wearing fur, 16 lord mayors across the UK have confirmed that they will not wear robes containing real fur. PETA sent the letter to every lord mayor in England after David Bithell, the mayor of Wrexham, ditched the ceremonial robes upon learning that they contain real animal fur. PETA is sending each of the 16 mayors a box of vegan chocolates.
"It's important that public figures set a positive example, and by saying no to fur, these mayors have made it clear that animals deserve respect", says PETA Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. "Animals raised for fur suffer every day of their lives before they endure a painful and terrifying death."
Among others, PETA appealed to the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Vivien Pengelly, and received the following reply from her office: "The Lord Mayor of Plymouth has two sets of robes; black and gold robes and red robes. The black and gold robes, which are used for major civic or ceremonial events do not have any fur. The red robes are due to be refurbished and will be embellished with a fake fur band".
PETA also received the following response from the City of York Council: "We are in possession of a number of older ceremonial robes worn by the Sheriff of York and Honorary Aldermen, which do have some very old fur trim. However, the Sheriff's robe is due to go for refurbishment, and the fur trim will be replaced with a synthetic fur, as is our policy".
The other 14 leaders not using real fur are John Lines, Birmingham; Khadim Hussain, Bradford; Faruk Choudhury, Bristol; Gary Crookes, Coventry; Tom Murray, Leeds; Mustafa Kamal, Leicester; Gary Millar, Liverpool; Naeem ul Hassan, Manchester; Margaret Wood, Newcastle upon Tyne; Keith Driver, Norwich; Merlita Bryan, Nottingham; Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth; Vickie Priestley, Sheffield; and Sheila Pitt, Stoke-on-Trent.
In its letter, PETA pointed out that the overwhelming majority of the British public is opposed to wearing real fur – in fact, a recent poll indicates that 95 per cent of Britons refuse to wear it. So strong is our moral objection to gassing, drowning and electrocuting animals and ripping the skin off their backs that Parliament passed an act banning fur farming more than a decade ago. If council leaders wear fur-trimmed robes, it not only goes against British values but also diminishes the meaning of the ban.
PETA's correspondence with the lord mayors is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.