Fur trade in the UK Contents

Conclusions and recommendations

Mis-selling of real fur as fake fur

Retailers

1.It is not illegal to buy or sell fur. However, investigations over the last few years have highlighted examples where consumers, believing they are purchasing fake fur, have bought real fur. (Paragraph 20)

2.Consumers should be able to have confidence in the product they are purchasing. All retailers, including online sellers and marketplace sellers, have a responsibility to ensure that they are selling items as described. We recognise that it is more difficult for online market sellers to examine all the products they sell, but that does not remove the responsibility they have to ensure that the products they sell on their site are correctly described. All retailers must comply with the law and those named in the Report have not done enough to track the risk of selling real fur accidentally. This is not something that should have been discovered by campaign organisations and the media. (Paragraph 21)

3.The retail industry must not be complacent about the issue of fake faux fur. We welcome the work that has been done so far to improve the supply chain and to improve communications with online sellers, and call on the retail industry to ensure that this continues. (Paragraph 22)

Trading standards

4.It is illegal to give misleading information about the characteristics of goods. We are disappointed that there has been a lack of enforcement by Trading Standards officers in local authorities against those retailers responsible. The Government must ensure that local authorities are properly resourced to deliver these services. (Paragraph 29)

5.We call on local authorities to ensure that Trading Standards officers enforce the law on selling fake faux fur. Where required, we call on local authorities to ensure that Trading Standards officers receive training on this issue and to conduct proactive investigations into the mis-sale of real fur as fake fur (Paragraph 30)

Labelling

6.Consumers have a right to know what they are buying. The current EU labelling regime lacks clarity and is confusing for retailers and consumers alike. The “animal origin” label is unclear, and can refer to a number of animal products in a garment; it does not specifically identify when a product contains real animal fur. The labelling of clothes has to be consistent, transparent and customer-friendly. (Paragraph 45)

7.We welcome the Government’s acknowledgment that the current EU labelling regime is confusing and needs amending. The Government’s ability to amend the labelling regime after Brexit will depend on the nature of the future EU-UK trading relationship. (Paragraph 46)

8.We recommend the introduction of a new mandatory labelling regime that identifies fur and other animal products accurately. The fur label should show the species of fur, the country of origin and method of production. We call on the Government to amend the labelling regime for products containing fur post-Brexit. (Paragraph 47)

Should the UK ban fur?

9.We recognise that the breeding and sale of fur is a very emotive subject. As well as presenting the moral arguments against fur farming, animal welfare campaigners highlight the conditions in which animals are reared, and their lack of natural behaviour. The fur industry, to counter these concerns, have established assurance schemes to ensure that animals are bred and raised to industry standards, although there are concerns as to whether these standards go far enough. (Paragraph 65)

10.We recommend that the Government holds a public consultation to consider whether to ban fur. In looking at whether to ban the sale and import of fur post-Brexit, the Government will have to balance the needs of animal welfare against consumer choice. (Paragraph 66)





Published: 22 July 2018