The French parliament has voted to ban ultra-thin catwalk models, despite protests from modelling agencies in the world’s fashion capital.

Anyone whose body mass index is below a certain level will not be able to work as a catwalk model, according to the amendment voted in by the national assembly.

Agencies found to employ models considered too thin could face a fine of up to €75,000 (£55,000) and six months in prison. The measure is part of a wider crackdown on anorexia backed by President François Hollande’s government.

“The prospect of such a punishment will have the effect of regulating the entire sector,” said Olivier Veran, the deputy proposing the amendment, who said similar measures had been taken in Spain, Italy and Israel.

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