Clothes made of fur from hamsters, lynx, kangaroos and other “exotic” animals are being legally sold in the UK, The Independent can reveal. The findings have prompted renewed calls for a ban on imports of animal fur after Brexit, which ministers have long resisted. Fur farms are banned in Britain but imports are considered a…
The findings have prompted renewed calls for a ban on imports of animal fur after Brexit, which ministers have long resisted.
Harrodsis selling a “luxe trench” made from kangaroos for £6,300, and British eBay users can buy a Greek Skandinavik coat made from lynx for £418.11.
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Smaller online platforms will also ship clothing made from lynx, coyote, goat, rabbit and raccoon, as well as mink.
Fur farms are banned in Britain but imports are considered a loophole so trade in foreign fur from these species – and otter, badger, bobcat and wolf – is legal.
Online retailer Farfetch has revealed it is going fur-free from December, afterThe Independentfound it selling:
- a parka with a hamster fur lining for £1,950
- a jacket of lynx fur – as well as mink, fox and lamb – for £5,684
- and a coat with lynx fur for £4,835
It is believed 100 or more hamsters would have been used to make the parka lining. Farfetch also sells beaver fur clothing.
ThreeSixty Clothing was charging £622.80 for a hood made of hamsters – until questioned byThe Independentover its policy.
The company said it noted animal-welfare activists’ concerns and would remove the hood from sale.
Mark Glover, director of anti-fur group Respect for Animals, said: “Tragically it is legal to import both lynx and hamster fur, which is entirely hypocritical since the main methods of obtaining it (trapping, often using leg-hold traps, andfur farming) have been banned here for many years.”
He said the steel-jawed leg-hold trap, the trap of choice for many hunters, was a horrific device that “causes incalculable suffering to animals caught in its jaws”.
Humane Society International UK head Claire Bass said: “FarFetch’s admirable decision to go fur-free, following discussions with our colleagues in the US, makes good business sense as well as preventing suffering.
“Lynx have been listed as threatened since 2000 across much of North America.
“And the idea of killing and skinning hundreds of hamsters to make a single fur-lined parka is grotesque.”
The charity called for ministers to make Britain fur-free. The government argues EU rules make an imports ban impossible.
Harrods said other UK and online retailers also stock the kangaroo coat.
Skandinavik Fur said it bought lynx bobcat legally from the US: “Our furs come from the USA, Canada, Latin America and Europe, and fulfil international farming or trapping standards.
“If we have solid evidence pelts come from farms where welfare standards are not met, we will stop cooperation,” a spokesman said.
Fur coats can last up to 50 years and are recyclable, he added.
Last year, Commons environment committee MPs called for an imports ban after real fur goods were found wrongly labelled as fake.
But ministers ruled out both a ban and new compulsory labelling laws.