UK to Ban Fur Farming
from No Compromise Issue 17

UNITED KINGDOM - Anti-fur campaigners in Britain are building up to what is hoped to be the beginning of the end for fur farming in England. The Government Bill to ban the trade is now in its final stages in the House of Lords where it has to clear two more stages before Parliament breaks up in November. The situation is currently looking quite hopeful but with a phase out period for farms to close the pressure needs maintaining to ensure that as many farms close this winter as possible.

CAFT-UK is again organizing a National Anti-Fur Week (11-19 November), the fourth such campaign so far. Protests are being planned at fur farms and fur shops across England and Scotland. The Week of Action takes place at a time when killing of mink is underway. It's a time that the fur trade would rather people notice the use of fur in 'fashion' instead of the scenes of mink being gassed in wooden boxes and having the skins ripped from their backs.

Protests have been continuing throughout the year at various fur farms, and new campaigns have been launched. Earlier this year 4 campaigners were arrested for 'aggravated trespass' (normally used against hunt sabs) while trying to gather evidence of breaches of welfare laws at a Yorkshire fur farm. While in custody their car was set on fire and completely wrecked. The campaigners haven't been deterred however and having to travel to the area for court appearances means they are able to hold even more demos at the farm!

Meanwhile, London Animal Action has had a great year after closing two fur shops in the city. Zwirn's fur shop became so desperate to prevent demos that they took out an injunction under anti-harassment law. This resulted in more demos, more press coverage and a legal bill of around 30,000 pounds for Barry Zwirn. A couple of activists were remanded to prison for between 3-7 days for breaching the injunction but the two cases that came to court were a sensational flop with the prosecution making a laughing stock of themselves. The loss of trade and rising legal costs must have been too much as Zwirn was forced to close down.

Campaigners then moved on to royal furriers Calman Links. ALF activists had repeatedly smashed the store windows and the shop eventually decided to replace the glass with a big wooden board - hardly fitting in with the exclusive shopping area. After a brief campaign of pickets and home demos the shop finally closed.

If this carries on the fur trade in London will be finished off in no time at all.