Traders at the Lincoln Christmas Market must sign an agreement not to sell authentic animal fur.
City of Lincoln Council, which runs the market, has maintained a stance against fur for a number of years and has this year introduced a new animal welfare policy which places an outright ban on fur products.
The move has been welcomed by campaigners, though council officers highlighted that is is difficult to tell if unofficial traders have sold fur at any of the previous 36 markets.
Fur trading is not illegal, but the city council said it advises all city traders to sell ethically.
The selling of real fur at markets, and even some well-known High Street retailers, has become a major problem in recent years, with many customers buying real fur thinking it is fake due to mislabelled product.
The following wording featured on trader agreements for Lincoln Christmas Market 2018: “Please be aware that we do not allow the sale of real fur at Lincoln Christmas Market.
“Real fur means any animal skin or part attached thereto, either in its raw or processed state or the pelt of any animal killed for the animal’s fur.
“Real fur does not include materials clipped, shorn or combed from animals, fleece, sheepskin or shearling. We allow the sale of leather only where this is produced as by-product of the meat industry.”
Fur free markets scheme
Respect for Animals has called on the city council to take the final step and officially sign up to the new Fur Free Markets scheme, which is free to all councils.
It also offers exclusive use of branding and assistance with testing of suspected fur items.
Campaign Director at Respect for Animals Mark Glover said: “Last winter, Respect for Animals received numerous complaints from members of the public about real fur on sale at Lincoln’s Christmas Market.
“The City of Lincoln Council deserves great praise for taking this step to end the sale of real fur at this annual event. Christmas shoppers will be able to enjoy Lincoln Christmas Market without worrying about potentially buying products from the barbaric fur trade.
“Our campaign for ‘Fur Free Markets’ is creating a lot of interest amongst market operators all around the country and we very much hope that Lincoln City Council, having made the right decision to remove real fur from the Christmas Market, will now also sign up to the scheme to achieve its highest ‘5 star’ rating on the official website.”
‘Caring and responsible event’
A spokesperson for Lincoln Christmas Market added: “We want Lincoln Christmas Market to be known as a caring and responsible event, and therefore request that all official stallholders do not sell animal fur of any kind.
“Although we have always taken this stance against fur, it is very difficult to tell whether unofficial traders have been selling fur products at any point over the past 36 years without our permission.
“Although fur trading is not technically illegal, we would advise anyone who sells in the city at any time of year to trade ethically and responsibly.”