Apr 10, 2017
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Rabbit and cat fur sold as fake on UK high street says Sky investigation

Apr 10, 2017

A new investigation claims UK retailers are selling items trimmed in real fur even though they are labelled as synthetic materials, with House of Fraser and Missguided both being identified as selling such items.

Rabbit fur is one of the most commonly mis-labelled materials

The Sky News probe found that four types of fur, rabbit, raccoon dog, mink and cat, are being mis-labelled, with the materials most likely to be coming from fur farms in Asia. Fur farming was banned in Britain in 2003.

All of the items retailed at less than £30 and were made in China with mass fur farming in Asia having driven prices down.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International told Sky News that the group is seeing an increasing amount of real fur being sold, some of it marked as synthetic but some not labelled at all.

And the fibres expert who tested the products for Sky News said the practice has become much more common in the past five years.

The investigators spoke to one shopper who had bought shoes from Missguided and suspected the pink pompoms on them were real fur but was assured by the company on Twitter that they were not. Sky’s fibres expert identified items sold by the retail as most likely to be cat and rabbit fur.

There is no suggestion that the retailers concerned were aware that the materials were wrongly labelled and House of Fraser has stopped selling the gloves identified as using rabbit fur in the programme. The company said it is “extremely concerned” and has spoken to the brand in question.

It said: "We will offer a full refund on any purchases of this item previously made. We will also be launching a full brand partners and supplier engagement to ensure that they are reminded of our no fur policy.”

Missguided also said it is launching an internal investigation with the relevant suppliers “and will ensure these matters are addressed urgently."

Ashley Palmer of Ventura Wildlife told investigators that raccoon dog fur is becoming increasingly common for products sold globally as the animal’s fur type and large litters make it appealing to fur farmers. Palmer also said the animals are often skinned alive.

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