Boris Johnson ‘drops plans to ban sale of foie gras and fur from Queen’s Speech’ 

Boris Johnson ‘drops plans to ban sale of foie gras and fur from Queen’s Speech’ 

The Prime Minister has dropped plans to ban the importation of foie gras and fur from the Queen’ Speech after ministers warned it was ‘fundamentally unconservative’.

The measures, which were set to be included in the new Animals Abroad Bill, were being brought in on animal cruelty grounds but have been abandoned in a bid to boost support for the Conservative Party, according to the Times newspaper.

The bill was proposed to tackle animal cruelty and support conservation efforts overseas.

It is set to include bans on the trade in hunting trophies from threatened species and the sale and advertising of experiences, such as elephant rides, overseas.

Foie gras production is already illegal in the UK, but around 200 tonnes of foie gras are imported into the country each year, mostly from France where it is considered a heritage product.

Fur farming was outlawed in the UK in 2003, and more than £800m worth of animal fur has been imported to Britain since then, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs.

Fur is often used in hat bobbles, boots and slippers, hood trims and in some coats from high-end stores.

Campaigners have long called for a ban on such products being brought from overseas.

The Government was set to introduce a ban on the importing of foie gras, made mainly in France and Spain by force-feeding corn to ducks or geese with a tube.

The bill has been delayed after concerns were raised by ministers about the personal choice of consumers in the UK, and issues around how the ban could be enforced.

In February this year, the proposed ban was thrown into doubt after several ministers raised concerns.

Brexit Minister Jacob Rees Mogg is one cabinet member who believes the government should not be imposing restrictions on what consumers can and cannot purchase, according to the BBC.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace raised concerns about banning imports of black bear fur, used by military Guardsmen, which he claims is sourced ethically.

Now, reports form the Times now suggest that Conservative MPs had threatened to rebel over the issue including Cabinet ministers including Mark Spencer, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Alister Jack.

As a result, the Animals Abroad Bill, which is set to feature in the Queen’s Speech, will now now longer include the proposed bans on foie gras and fur imports.

Last week, the Daily Mail reported that government aides had been told it was likely the Queen’s Speech would be slimmed down so ‘Tory laws’ can be passed to appease voters.

The special advisers were also warned they were already in the ‘long campaign’ for the next general election.

One special adviser said: ‘We were told we need to focus on passing Tory laws that the voters want to see. They said there were Tory things that we need to get out and do.’

Another adviser told The Sun the Queen’s Speech will be ‘slimmed down’ as ‘this is a Tory government and we don’t tax and regulate our way to prosperity’.

Parliament will return on May 10, the date of the State Opening where the Queen or the Prince of Wales will read out the Government’s legislative priorities for the year ahead.

At least 20 Bills are likely to be included but ministers are said to be keen to avoid a repeat of the previous session, where one third did not become law within the promised timeframe.

Half a dozen Bills which were started but not completed have been ‘carried over’ into Parliament’s next session, including the Online Safety Bill.

New Bills are likely to include the Media Bill, formalising the privatisation of Channel 4, and a Railways Bill which will bring most of the country’s train networks under the control of a new centralised body.

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