On The Fur Ban

Lewis Cowles

I’ve just customised a letter to my elected representative in government. I felt like the petition boilerplate was awesome (so some of this is from the humane society), but that it lacked teeth. It appealed to a morality I’m not sure all people would connect between human issues and animal welfare.


Dear Mr [redacted],

I am horrified by the cruelty inflicted on animals in the name of fur. Most especially when there are cheaper, more effective alternatives.

The fur trade has no place in any compassionate society, and I am very pleased that Members of Parliament will have the opportunity to debate the issue in Westminster Hall, at 4.30pm on 4th June 2018. More than 425,000 people have recently signed petitions in support of a ban on the import and sale of real fur in the UK.

As my elected representative, I would be pleased if you would attend that debate and speak in support of extending existing fur import bans (for cats, dogs and seals) to cover all species exploited by the fur trade.

Fur farming was banned almost twenty years ago — a bold step that showed the UK’s leadership in standing up against animal cruelty. So far, more than a dozen countries across Europe have followed our lead and banned fur farming.

However, we are now effectively outsourcing that same cruelty to farmers and trappers overseas. We import many millions of pounds worth of animal fur each year, from countries such as Poland, Finland, China and France. We have to decide if it’s unpalatable or unacceptable, which is really a choice on enforcing the spirit of the law as well as the word of the law. Other exploitation like sex tourism are banned regardless of where it happens, we’ve said it’s not just something we don’t want happening in the UK, it’s unacceptable to go elsewhere to try to circumvent the law.

I understand it is illegal to import fur from cats, dogs and seals to the UK, but I don’t believe this is a fair or valid distinction. To take the issue I’ve said is similar of sex tourism. Imagine if we named places people could not do that, but overlooked others? The fur trade causes suffering to all species, and I would like to see those import bans extended to prohibit trade in the furs of all animals.

The fur trade claims that it has schemes to look after the welfare of animals kept in tiny cages, but these are meaningless and there is no such thing as ‘humane fur farming’. Ripping off an animal skin is not humane, there is no set of circumstances where if you did it to a pet or other person it would be acceptable. Where any exception exists it’s from a regulated and heavily educated industry (cosmetic surgery) and does not result in death.

Please attend the debate in Westminster Hall on Monday 4 June 2018 at 4.30pm and support the call for our country to be a world leader in animal welfare by taking a moral stand against a cruel, outdated and unnecessary industry.

For more information ahead of the debate, please contact Humane Society International/UK: lfreedman@hsi.org

Thank you for speaking up for animals

Yours sincerely,
Lewis Cowles
[address redacted]


I Obviously picked an issue I hope this MP will connect with. I’ve shared this letter because for me it’s important that I learn how to communicate my ideas in a more convincing way, but also that others think about their actions, be they online activism, or choice of career as a fur farmer.

I don’t want my skin pulled off, or my pets or loved ones. From that position it’s really easy for me to say I don’t think it’s fair to do to other living creatures.

Please sign the petition https://action.hsi.org/page/23772/-/1

Lewis Cowles

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Digital Architect & Owner - http://www.codesign2.co.uk UK-based I.T. Consultancy.I make things happen and could probably help you deliver software & experiences

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