Bill Bailey, Ricky Gervais and Judi Dench Fight for a Fur Free Britain

Bill Bailey, Ricky Gervais and Judi Dench Fight for a Fur Free Britain

Thirty celebrities have addressed the UK government in a letter, urging that all fur imports are banned after Brexit.

The open letter, penned to Prime Minister Theresa May, states: “Britain’s responsibility to animals does not end at our borders, but extends globally, to those animals killed to be traded into our country”.

The letter goes on:With that in mind, we write to urge your government’s action to ban the import and sale of animal fur in the UK”.

Thirty stars are shown to be backing the cause, including athletes, musicians, actors, and reality stars, all connected by their desire to live in a fur-free Britain.

Despite the fact that the UK government banned the farming of fur over a decade ago, fur trading around Britain is not unheard of. In fact, in contrast the industry continues to boom; in 2016, the UK imported a total of £55,614,501 of animal fur.

However, a poll held last year found that 9 out of 10 people in Britain found it “unacceptable” to sell or purchase real fur.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International, believes the fur market has been “artificially inflated by would-be ethical consumers”. Unbeknownst to many, it is not uncommon for real fur to be falsely advertised as fake.

Bass stated: “British consumers will be shocked to learn that they are being duped into buying real animal fur”. This was a major motivator for the #FreeFurBritain campaign, which is fighting for stricter laws surrounding labelling, so that companies cannot mislead consumers. Further, the movement aims to end the importing of fur altogether.

The letter draws attention to the over 100 million animals who “suffer and die every year for the frivolous fur trade”. It explains that these animals are electrocuted, gassed, caught in leg-hold traps for days, and skinned alive. “We should not trade on their suffering,” the piece states, “. . . if fur is too cruel to produce in this country, it’s too cruel to sell in this country”.

The following celebrities signed the letter: Alesha Dixon, Alison Steadman OBE, Sir Andy Murray OBE, Bill Bailey, Chris Packham, Douglas Booth, Evanna Lynch, Fearne Cotton, Gabrielle Aplin, James McVey, Jenny Seagrove, Jilly Cooper CBE, Joanna Lumley OBE, Joss Stone, Dame Judi Dench, Laura Whitmore, Lesley Nicol, Lucy Watson, Martin Clunes OBE, Melanie C, Nicky Campbell OBE, Paloma Faith, Ricky Gervais, Rula Lenska, Simon Amstell, Simon Pegg, Sue Perkins, Tiffany Watson, and Twiggy.

A number of spokespeople from various organisations also signed the letter. Humane Society International UK, PETA, RSPCA, The Jane Goodall Institute UK, and Care2 were among the participating organisations.

The piece ends by addressing Prime Minister May directly: “Like you, we want Britain to be a ‘world leader on animal welfare’, so we urge you make the compassionate decision for a #FurFreeBritain”.

Image Credit: Bill Bailey | Evanna Lynch