As the owner of two dogs myself, the suffering of animals is deeply upsetting to me, and I want to see any animal suffering minimised to the greatest extent possible.
Furthermore, my ministerial colleagues and I are committed to upholding our high standards in animal welfare. The Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare sets out Ministers' vision to introduce a range of world-leading reforms to improve the welfare and conservation of animals at home and abroad.
I appreciate that there is considerable support for banning all imports of fur products. Fur farming has been banned in the UK for 20 years but while we were members of the EU, we were obliged to allow it to be imported. I am aware that the Government sought views on animal welfare through a call for evidence and 30,000 responses were received from businesses, representative bodies and individuals, demonstrating the strong public interest in this area.
Ministers have been reviewing the evidence gathered both from the call for evidence and wider engagement with the industry. I understand that the Government will be publishing a summary of responses in due course, which I look forward to reading.
Unfortunately, due to other Parliamentary commitments, I am unable to attend the Fur Free Britain reception in Parliament on 25 January. However, please be assured that I will read any briefing provided and continue to follow this issue closely, which I take very seriously.