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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

A step in the right direction

Lynx memorialWe are delighted to learn that the government are finally promising to end the cruelty of fur farming in the UK by introducing a Bill to ban all fur farms in the UK. Although the date for the second reading of the bill has still to be announced.

For those of you who follow fashion you will no doubt be aware of the resurgence of the fur farming industry and the growing trend to re-visit this outdated and cruel statement. Currently a Private Members Bill stands for its second reading and looks to ban the farming of pelts in this country. The government set the wheels in motion when on 5 August 1997 they issued a consultative letter seeking comments on how to prohibit fur farming - although gaining several outbursts from members of the Fur Breeders Association the majority of responses were in favour of a ban. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry, Mr Elliot Morley, then announced in the House of Commons on 30 July 1998 that it was the government’s firm intention to end fur farming in this country, that primary legislation would be required and that the government would be seeking the most appropriate route by which to achieve a ban.

Currently the only animals farmed solely or primarily for their fur in England and Wales are mink. There are 13 licensed mink farms in England and none in Wales. Other species(Arctic Fox etc) do not require a license and at this point there are no farms in England or Wales. The Bill would make it a criminal offence, punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £20,000 to keep animals solely or primarily for slaughter for the value of their fur or for breeding progeny for slaughter. It would also provide a winding down period extending at least until end of 2002 and to allow an adequate compensation for categories of loss.

You may be wondering why we are so interested in this latest bill - IAR have always been against the fur trade. Back in 1991 Lynx the anti fur group held a ’funeral’ for the tens of thousands of animals used to make over a 1000 fur coats which were buried in a mass grave on ’Animal Tracks’ our rescue centre in Devon.

John Hicks our Executive Director and Alan Knight our Director of Operations have campaigned over the last 25 years against the fur trade and this bill looks set to stop this barbaric trade at last. The Bill should put the fur trade well and truly back into the spotlight. IAR salute Mark Glover and his team and the hard work put in by Respect for Animals (formerly Lynx) to help achieve this ban.

For further details contact:

Respect for Animals PO Box 300, Nottingham NG1 1BR www.respectforanimals.org