Today, Brian May led a deputation at 10.30 this morning to No 10 Downing Street to hand in a petition of 425,000 signatures for Prime Minister, Theresa May, against the sale of imported fur products in the UK. Brian was later interviewed in the Sky News studio – as follows:
Brian May – on occasion of handing in Anti-fur petition to No 10
SKY NEWS: … like China and Poland since then… Let’s speak to Brian May now.
Mr May thanks for your time. So you’ve handed this petition in. Do you think public opinion is behind you to get fur imports banned in the UK?
BRIAN MAY: I do very definitely yes I’ve been a number of petitions, as you know, over the past few year. This is a very big one – over 400,000 people in a fairly short time signed it. I think there is a massive wave of opinion in Britain which says we don’t need to be torturing animals to make clothing anymore and as you said we have banned fur farms in Britain in 2003 but we now need to ban the import of from other countries who still have these disgusting farms and it’s something very elemental really you know. You only have to really expose the truth to people and they’re on your side you know. I say to people, “You realize you know that they keep these animals like chinchillas and minks and foxes in tiny little boxes and then they probably skin them alive in very many cases”. They go, “That’s terrible”, and okay you realize it’s also dogs and cats. There’s two million cats every year are used in this same way and what your own investigative team found on Sky was you could go into a shop on the High Street and buy something which you thought was fake fur and even had a label inside saying it was fake fur, like a pair of fluffy slippers or whatever it was. This little piece of supposed faux fur on the bottom of it, and you take it home when you discover that it actually is fur, because fur is cheaper than the imitation now because of the fact that they economize on the conditions and these animals are brought up in, Appalling conditions.
SKY: So why don’t you tell people that?
BRIAN: I think everybody’s on our side it just needs to be put into practice to bring about change and we need the fashion, some of the big fashion houses on board. Indeed a lot of them are.
SKY: Indeed these things like that but also you know in terms of your own industry and musicians in fur historically it’s very flamboyant musicians wear it. Do you need more people like you in the music industry to step back and say listen this isn’t okay?
BRIAN: Oh absolutely. It needs to be in every walk of life but you know it is an awareness thing that’s a gradual realization. I’ve worn fur in the past when I was a kid. I didn’t realize. I remember getting a sort of secondhand fox fur from Kensington Market where, you know, my friends used to work, and I thought oh you know the animal probably died. It’s probably fine. It’s only when you realise the truth that millions of these animals are being bred purely in squalid conditions purely to be skinned to make these items of clothing, then you start to realise. I mean a lot I think for everybody it’s a journey everybody starts to realise more and more what these things actually mean and the piece of little trimming around your coat or whatever is very trivial but it’s caused the suffering of an animal somewhere.
SKY: And a parliamentary debate is going to occur in June on the UK fur trade and what would you your message be to the Prime Minister? I presume it could be banned fairly quickly?
BRIAN: Great. We would like to see it banned completely. Yes any sale of fur in Britain to be banned completely. It is possible. It’s happened other places. It’s about to happen in San Francisco, so it’s very much possible but in the meantime we would like to see labeling absolutely policed. So if somebody puts a label in saying “faux fur” and it’s not faux fur, then there should be a prosecution and that everything should be tightened up, you know. Nobody should be hoodwinked into thinking that they’re buying something that’s not causing suffering to animals.
SKY: Okay, Brian May. Thanks for your time appreciate you speaking to us. Thank you.