Another disheartening investigation has uncovered that consumers who would never buy real fur are being duped by products that have been mislabeled.
Brands including Tesco, Boots, FatFace and Romwe were found selling real fur that was mislabeled as faux. The latest investigation, which was conducted by The Humane Society International (HSI UK) along with the Mail on Sunday, follows other investigations exposing well-known brands for mislabeling fur.
Lab tests confirmed that items including key chains, hats and boots with fur trim, really came from animals including fox, rabbit, mink, raccoon dog and chinchilla. Unfortunately, as HSI points out, real fur is cheap to produce, so the deceptively low prices on products that may cost even less than real fur are only adding to the confusion.
The regulations surrounding fur labeling are also confusing and poorly enforced, letting retailers that claim they didn’t know off the hook without any accountability.
“Tesco, FatFace, Boots and Romwe are all companies with commendable no-fur policies, so it is very disappointing to find that real animal fur has slipped into their stores described as faux fur. Most British consumers want nothing to do with the cruel fur trade so it is vital that retailers improve their vigilance to ensure their customers are not being misled into buying real fur. It is simply unacceptable that compassionate consumers are unknowingly spending their money on the very cruelty that they are trying to avoid, fur from foxes, raccoon dogs, mink and rabbits who have suffered lives of confinement in barren wire cages, and excruciating deaths through electrocution or gassing,” said Claire Bass, executive director of HSI UK.
Sadly, this investigation follows a few others that have exposed retailers for selling real fur as faux. This past spring, a joint investigation by HSI UK and Sky News exposed products, including fur that came from cats, rabbit, raccoon dog, fox and mink. Last month, a follow-up investigation also exposed retailers including T.K. Maxx, Boohoo, Miss Bardo, Amazon and Not On The High Street for selling mislabelled fur.
While it’s troubling, animal advocates and HSI hope the information coming to light will help raise awareness about the problems with faux fur, in addition to garnering more support for making the UK entirely fur free, which Brexit could create an opportunity for.
Even though the EU has banned dog, cat and seal fur, and all fur farming was banned in the UK more than a decade ago, imports of fur from a number of species including fox, rabbit, mink, coyote, racoon dog and chinchilla can still be legally sold there. Supporters of a total ban continue to point out that banning fur from only some species makes little sense when all furbearers exploited by this industry suffer tremendously in life and death.
“Stricter fur labelling laws are urgently needed but ultimately animal fur has no future in British shops and wardrobes, which is why we’re calling on the government to use Brexit to ban all fur imports into Britain, closing our borders to this revolting, outdated and unnecessary trade,” added Bass.
You can help by signing and sharing The Humane Society International’s Care2 petition urging leaders to make the UK fur free.
This article was first published by Care2.com on 25 Jan 2018.
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