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
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.
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.