The Fur Market in Great Britain

Closed 28 Jun 2021

Opened 31 May 2021

Overview

Fur farming has been banned in England and Wales since 2000 and in Scotland and Northern Ireland since 2002. We also have restrictions on the import of fur from domestic cats and dogs, from commercial seal hunts, and from wild animals trapped for their fur.

Now that our future relationship with the EU has been established there is an opportunity for the Government to consider any further steps it might take in relation to fur. To inform any future decisions, we are launching a call for evidence to ask for information which might help us to better understand fur sector activity including the trade in fur and its impacts, both in Great Britain (GB) and overseas.  

This call for evidence does not present any Government proposals on fur, rather we are openly seeking views about what the general public and stakeholders feel should be done in relation to fur, including the option of doing nothing differently compared to now. If any changes were to be made in future, this would need to be based on a formal Impact Assessment and comply with World Trade Organisation rules. This exercise has been launched jointly by Defra and the Scottish and Welsh Governments, and the responses will be considered on a GB basis. We are keen to hear from all interested parties who may hold useful evidence on the trade in fur and we welcome responses from all countries and territories.

For these purposes, fur is defined as any animal skin, with hair, fleece, or fur fibres attached, either in its raw or processed state; for example, that of a mink, fox or rabbit.

This definition of "fur" does not include skins or parts of skins which are intended to be converted into leather, or cowhide, sheepskin or shearling, or synthetic materials intended to look like fur.

Why we are consulting

We are seeking information and evidence on the commercial fur sector in GB to inform future decision making, including trading activity. We are not seeking information on non-commercial, private or public sector activity in this call for evidence, for example, transactions and exchanges between private individuals. 

Evidence and views would be particularly welcome on potential impacts on business, and on any potential unintended consequences within GB or abroad. Evidence is welcome in the form of statistical data, case studies, literature reviews, personal experiences, reports and documents, whether new or historic. Wherever possible, please provide full references for any documentation that you submit.

We are looking for information in the following key areas:

  • Scale and nature of domestic fur sector activity, including trading;
  • Scale and nature of activities abroad which are integral to our existing domestic fur sector;
  • Individuals’ attitudes towards the domestic fur sector.

This call for evidence is being conducted in line with the Cabinet Office “Consultation Principles” which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consultation- principles-guidance

If you have any comments or complaints about the process, please email: consultation.coordinator@defra.gov.uk

Audiences

  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Animal welfare campaigners
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Devolved Administrations
  • Local Authorities
  • Business/Private Sector
  • Policy Teams
  • Local Authorities
  • All Defra staff and ALBs
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Retail Industry
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • Member of the General Public
  • SME businesses
  • Trading Standards Officers
  • Professional and Membership Organisations/Agencies
  • Public Bodies
  • Stakeholders

Interests

  • Animals
  • DEFRA Policy
  • Animal welfare