Consumer group urges U.S. retailers and designers to sign fur-free pledge
Sacramento, CA — Recent investigations have exposed a worldwide lack of regulation of animal welfare and trade standards for fur products. In the U.S., consumers already angered by recent exposés, including the mislabeling of products containing the fur of canines, and the intentional mislabeling of fur products as “faux,” are speaking out against the substandard care and treatment of rabbits raised on European farms and whose fur can be sold in the U.S.
Though the fur industry claims that rabbit fur is a by-product of the meat industry, investigators visited some Portuguese farms where rabbits were raised solely for their fur. Investigators noted inhumane handling practices, overcrowding, dead, dying and diseased animals, and cruel slaughtering methods.
“The conditions documented in Portugal are not uncommon in the international rabbit fur industry,” says Monica Engebretson, project director for the Animal Protection Institute, which directs the Consumers for a Fur Free Society program (CFFS). “In the United States there are no federal laws governing how animals raised for fur should be housed or slaughtered. The absence of federal laws means that industry practices in the United States likely do not vary substantially from those documented in Portugal.”
Consumers for a Fur Free Society (CFFS) is asking retailers to drop all fur including rabbit fur from their inventories and to take a stand against the cruel international fur trade by putting their commitment in writing.
“U.S. consumers don’t respond well to the fact that body parts of companion animals are being used and then not clearly labeled on the products they buy,” adds Engebretson. “Retailers need to step up to the plate and prove that they are concerned about needless suffering by refusing to sell fur period.”
CFFS represents an international effort to provide consumers accurate information about a retailer’s fur policy, allowing consumers to make an informed choice when shopping. CFFS most recently asked designer Giorgio Armani to drop rabbit fur from his collections, noting, “We realize designers have many choices when it comes to what compromises their collections. Unfortunately, not all…have recognized…their direct contribution to a cruel and unnecessary industry by using fur.”
The CFFS program is supported and endorsed by the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of 35 leading animal and environmental protection organizations, representing more than 10 million members and supporters in the United States alone.
For more information visit www.furfreeshopping.com
Zibby Wilder, Animal Protection Institute, 916-447-3085 x205