Protesters on Stilts ‘Stand Tall for Animals’ This Fur-Free Friday
Wearing animal masks and Union Jack coats, PETA supporters on stilts brought the “Stand Tall for Animals” message to Parliament this Fur-Free Friday, urging the government to ban UK imports and sales of fur.
PETA protesters took the call for a #FurFreeBritain to new heights, marking the 20th anniversary of the UK fur farming ban. Despite the ban and the demise of the global fur trade over the last two decades, fur is still being imported into and sold in the UK, fuelling the cruel industry and animal suffering around the world.
Back in 2000, Parliament rightfully deemed fur farming morally indefensible, and the UK became the first country to implement a ban. Now, the government must lead the way again by banning fur imports, too.
Fur Production Is Cruel
Under current EU regulations, it’s illegal to trade in cat, dog, or seal fur, but the fur of other animals, such as coyotes, foxes, raccoon dogs, and minks, can still be sold. Individuals exploited on fur farms are forced to live in crowded, filthy conditions before being killed for their skin.
Living in cramped cages – far from their native homes and with no opportunity to play, jump, run, or do anything else that comes naturally to them – often drives these inquisitive, intelligent animals insane. Fighting, self-mutilation, and cannibalism are common on fur farms.
The fur industry puts animals through a living hell before tearing off their skin – and it’s also destroying the planet. A study of mink farms in Europe determined the impact of fur production with regard to 18 different environmental issues – such as the climate crisis, ozone pollution, and water and land use. For 17 of the 18 issues, fur was found to be far more harmful than any other material.
Producing 1 kilogram of fur emits about 130 to 140 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), compared to around 6 to 7 kilograms of CO2e for 1 kilogram of faux fur.
Breeding Ground for Disease
Filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed, and injured animals are a breeding ground for disease, and facilities in Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the US have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks. In response, the Dutch, French, and Polish governments have taken steps to end fur farming in their countries.
In Denmark, a mutation of the novel coronavirus spread from minks to humans on fur farms, highlighting the danger that these facilities could be the source of new strains of the virus that might render COVID-19 vaccines ineffective.
SARS and the novel coronavirus first infected humans who came into close contact with captive wildlife at live-animal markets – which pose a public health risk similar to that of fur farms.
What You Can Do
The import and sale of the skins of tortured animals should be outlawed in modern Britain. In leaving the EU, the UK has an opportunity to introduce a ban on all trading in animal fur and, in doing so, become a true world leader in animal protection.
In June 2018, during a parliamentary debate, MPs spoke in favour of ending the fur trade in the UK, but no clear commitment on this issue was made. Tell the UK government to take action now!