Fur trade in the UK Contents


1.In the EU, it is legal to import and sell fur from a range of species such as fox, rabbit, mink, coyote, racoon dog and chinchilla.1 EU regulations ban trade in fur from domestic cats, dogs or commercial seal hunts.2

2.Many consumers make a decision not to buy fur on ethical and animal welfare grounds, but choose to buy fake fur, made of synthetic fibres. In recent years, there have been high-profile cases of real fur being sold as fake fur by major high-street and online retailers. This “fake faux fur” was made from a variety of animals including rabbit, fox and chinchilla.

Our inquiry

3.We launched our inquiry in February 2018 in the light of investigations by Humane Society International UK, Sky News and BBC London News. We examined how the industry can be made more transparent for consumers. We also examined whether, longer-term, Brexit could provide an opportunity for the UK Government to change legislation around the import of fur.

4.We took oral evidence from Humane Society International UK, Sky News, BBC London News, representatives from across the retail sector, representatives from the fur industry, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). We are grateful to those who provided oral and written evidence. We congratulate the Humane Society International UK, Sky News and BBC London News for their work in this area.

1 Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2000.

2 Commission Regulation 1523/2207 bans the import, export and placing on the market of cat and dog fur, as well as products made from such sources. Commission Regulation 1007/2009 and 2015/1850 bans the commercial imports of baby harp seal and hooded seal skins, and items made from such skins.

Published: 22 July 2018