Burberry is a well-known brand in the world of fashion, but behind Burberry's traditional image there lies a dark and shameful secret.
Alongside the trench coats and trademark check design clothing you would expect to find there, Burberry has in recent years started to sell an increasing number of items made from real animal fur.
By selling real fur, Burberry is directly responsible for the suffering and killing of many thousands of animals just for fashion. Burberry describes itself as "quintessentially British", yet the production of fur in Britain has long been illegal, so all the fur sold by Burberry here has to be imported from other countries. If "quintessentially British" Burberry tried to produce those same fur items in Britain, they would face arrest and prosecution.
Why is the production of fur illegal in Britain?
Britain is one of a growing number of countries which have banned the production of fur, and with good reason:
On fur factory farms, many thousands of wild animals are forced to spend their whole lives crammed into small wire-mesh cages. These terrible, unnatural conditions inevitably cause suffering and cruelty, including severe physical injuries as well as psychological damage leading to stereotypical behaviour such as endless and pointless pacing and circling of the cages, and harmful behaviour such as cage biting, self mutilation and the killing and cannibalisation of their cage mates.
Animals on fur factory farms are killed by methods such as gassing, anal electrocution, drowning, strangulation, and even by being skinned whilst still fully conscious.
Other animals killed for their fur are trapped in the wild using "leg-hold traps", which are also illegal in Britain. These steel-jawed devices crush the animals' bones, and they can spend hours or even days in agony before the trapper returns, and some will bite off their own limbs in a desperate effort to escape, only to die later from shock, disease or blood loss.
Fur is also very unpopular with the public, with opinion polls consistently showing around 90% of the population opposed to the use of fur.
While the vast majority of fashion retailers in Britain have an ethical policy not to sell any real fur, Burberry remains one of a very small minority which continue to support this horrific trade.