Fur Trade Chief's Past Support for Anti-Fur Campaigns Exposed
The International Fur Trade Federation's Chief Executive (disgraced former MP Mark Oaten) used to support the anti-fur campaign, Respect for Animals reveals today (5 October 2011).
Earlier this year (22 March) the Telegraph reported: ‘Mark Oaten, the former Liberal Democrat MP who quit parliament after cheating on his wife with a rent boy, has taken a job promoting the fur trade.'
Oaten is currently Chief Executive of the International Fur Trade Federation. On his appointment he was quoted as saying: ‘I am very proud to be joining such a successful and historic trade.......It is also important that we do more to promote fur internationally.'
Respect for Animals has carried out an analysis of Oaten's record while he was a Member of Parliament and his support for anti-fur measures. It includes:
1997-1998 Parliamentary session: He signed an Early Day Motion (EDM) condemning the Canadian government for ‘allowing and subsidising the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world' i.e. the Canadian seal hunt which supplies seal skins for the international fur trade. (EDM 967)
1998-99 session: He signed an EDM opposing fur farming which described fur as ‘an inessential luxury' and called on the government to support a private member's bill to ban fur farming ‘so that the cruel practice of fur farming in the United Kingdom is brought to an end'. (EDM 244)
2002-2003 session: He supported a Motion calling on the government to ban the import of dog and cat fur or products made with dog and cat fur ‘as soon as possible'. (EDM 102)
He signed a further three EDMs condemning the Canadian seal hunt (2005-06 and 2006-07 sessions) in support of bans on the trade in seal products (mostly fur) in both the UK and EU, deploring the killing and saying that he is ‘appalled by the unacceptable cruelty of the hunt'. (EDMs 237 (2005-06), 83 & 1006 (2006-07))
His most recent support for a fur related EDM was during the 2009-10 session when he called for all ‘real fur on sale to carry a label that clearly states that the item is made using real animal fur, whether or not it has been dyed and the country of origin of the fur'. (EDM 253)
In addition he signed at least three EDMs calling for the government to ban ‘the manufacture, sale and use of all snares' due to their indiscriminate nature and the ‘considerable pain and suffering' they inflict on many animals. In his new position as a fur trade executive, Oaten, will know that snares are one of the main methods used to catch animals for their fur. (EDMs 75(2005-06), 314(2007-08), 1473(2008-09))
Mark Glover, Respect for Animals' Campaigns Director said: ‘How does Oaten reconcile his past opposition to the fur trade with his new position and does he think any of this enhances the reputation of politicians or himself for that matter? Or perhaps all he cares about is money.'