Thank you for contacting me about fur imports and the production of foie gras.
The Government is committed to upholding high standards of animal welfare. The Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare sets out to introduce a range of world-leading reforms to improve the welfare and conservation of animals at home and abroad.
Ministers appreciate that there is considerable support for banning all imports of fur products. Fur farming has been banned in the UK for 20 years, however, while we were members of the EU, we were obliged to allow it to be imported. The Government sought views on animal welfare through a recent call for evidence and 30,000 responses were received from businesses, representative bodies and individuals, demonstrating the strong public interest in this area. Ministers continue to build an evidence base, which will be used to inform any future action on the fur trade.
Further, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, strengthened by the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, has prohibited the production of foie gras through force feeding of ducks and geese. This method of production has been banned in the UK for over 15 years, since the Animal Welfare Act 2006 brought forward a legal requirement to provide for an animal’s welfare needs, such as supplying a suitable diet and protecting the animal from injury and disease. Under this legislation, it is a criminal offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Ministers are united in their commitment to upholding our high standards in animal welfare. The Government is considering any further steps that could be taken in relation to foie gras that is produced overseas using force feeding practices, such as restrictions on import and sale.
For more information about the Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare, please visit gov.uk here: