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Furs: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 78947, tabled on 22 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to review the potential merits of a ban on fur in response to evidence from Spain that mink fur farms can act as a reservoir for covid-19.

Answered on

1 September 2020

The Government shares the British public's high regard for animal welfare. Fur farming has been banned in England and Wales since 2000 (2002 in Scotland and Northern Ireland). While fur farming is legal in some EU countries, there are strict rules in place to ensure that animals kept for fur production are farmed, trapped and killed humanely.

During the transition period, it is not possible to introduce restrictions relating to the fur trade. Once our future relationship with the EU has been established there will be an opportunity for the Government to consider further steps it could take in relation to fur sales.

In relation to the outbreaks of COVID-19 on mink farms in Europe, keepers are taking this seriously and implementing disease control measures, which include culling the animals on affected farms and ensuring that these animals will not be used for fur.