Humane Society sues retailers, designers over fur
Tell Amazon.com To Stop Selling Fur
..send the message !!!
Article that just appeared in the Miami Herald. Monday, 11.24.08
Click here: Humane Society sues retailers, designers over fur – Breaking News – Business – MiamiHerald.com
Humane Society sues retailers, designers over fur
By GILLIAN GAYNAIR
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit Monday against six major retailers and fashion designers alleging they falsely advertise and label fur garments.
The suit claims that Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and designer Andrew Marc misrepresent fur products by labeling and marketing them as “faux fur,” when they are not; or by advertising and labeling products as common raccoon, fox or rabbit fur, when they are really made from raccoon dog, a canine species from Asia.
The complaint also alleges that the retailers are in violation of the federal Fur Products Labeling Act and Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibit mislabeling of fur products.
Rebecca Judd, senior attorney with the Humane Society, said the group is seeking a court order to halt to what she called deceptive business practices by retailers.
“We filed this after we tried now for several years to have the fur industry stop their widespread false advertising and labeling,” Judd said.
She added the group wants to alert consumers, especially those concerned about animal welfare, that fur garments are “best left out of the shopping bag.”
Representatives from Macy’s and Neiman Marcus said they don’t comment on pending litigation. Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor and Andrew Marc did not return telephone calls for comment. A representative from Saks could not be immediately reached by The Associated Press after calls seeking comment.
Judd said the suit was filed in D.C. under its Consumer Protection Procedures Act because the Humane Society focused much of its investigation in the Washington region. All the retailers named in the suit have stores in the area. Andrew Marc sells his brands online and in retail stores around Washington.
Since it began investigating in 2005, Judd said the Humane Society has sent dozens of letters to retailers – including those named in Monday’s suit – informing them of their findings.
Some companies, including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger stopped selling fur products, Judd said. Others, such as rap artist Sean “Diddy” Combs, quit producing coats from his Sean John line that had raccoon dog fur; and rapper Jay-Z pulled coats with raccoon dog from his Rocawear label.
Raccoon dogs resemble oversized, fluffy raccoons and aren’t kept as pets. According to the suit, more than 1.5 million of them are being raised for their fur in China, and have been documented to be skinned alive. Importing raccoon dog fur isn’t illegal.
The Humane Society never received a “written commitment to stop selling mislabeled fur” from the six defendants after alerting them to the group’s findings, Judd said.
The defendants are also among more than 20 companies named in two legal petitions the Humane Society filed earlier this year and in 2007 with the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the federal fur labeling act.
In the petitions, the animal rights group ask the commission to fine the high-end retailers and designers of clothing that contains mislabeled fur. The group also would like inventories seized and, possibly, charges filed.
In 2007, Charles Jayson, chief executive of Andrew Marc, disputed the Humane Society and insisted in a statement that all fur on his coats labeled as raccoon contains “only farm-bred raccoon fur from Finland, and our items labeled ‘faux fur’ are a 100 percent synthetic fabric.”
Mislabeling fur is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5,000 fine or a year in prison. Fur valued at less than $150 doesn’t have to be labeled.
The petitions are still pending.
The Humane Society said it began investigating mislabeled fur claims after the society got a tip from someone who bought a coat with trim labeled as faux fur that felt real. At the time, teams bought coats from popular retailers and then had the coats tested by mass spectrometry, which measures the mass and sequence of proteins.
The society said most of the fur came from China.
Associated Press writer Sarah Skidmore contributed to this report.
Urge Amazon.com to Stop Selling Fur
Today: Call-In Day: And Click Below To Send An E-mail!
Fur Free Friday is almost here and activists everywhere are hunkering down to finalize their plans for the most prolific Fur Free Friday yet! In fact, this year, events are taking place in over 75 cities on every continent besides Antarctica! Hopefully there is an event close enough for you to participate. If not, you can still help fur-bearing animals by asking Amazon.com to stop selling fur today!
Every year, over 50 million animals are brutally killed and skinned to make fur products. While many companies have pledged to go fur-free, other popular companies, such as Amazon.com, continue to cause and profit from animal suffering.
After receiving nearly 12,000 emails, Amazon.com’s competitor, Zappos.com, recently stopped selling all items with fur and pledged to stay fur-free. Now we need you to help us convince Amazon to follow Zappos’ lead and become fur-free, as so many other retailers – including Nike, Gap, J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Forever 21 – have.
What you can do:
Please click here to send an e-mail to Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos politely asking him to remove fur from the Amazon.com Web site permanently! Then follow up with a letter, fax and/or personal email:
1200 12th Ave. S., Ste. 1200
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 622-2335; press O to speak to an Amazon.com operator
- I was disappointed to learn that Amazon.com contributes to the suffering of millions of animals by selling real fur–and thrilled to learn that your competitor, Zappos.com, has recently gone fur-free.
- As you know, animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages.
- Fur farmers use the cheapest and cruelest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gassing, and poisoning.
- With so many alternatives to animal fur available, it’s time for your company to remove fur from its collections permanently. Whether it comes from minks, foxes, raccoons, chinchillas, beavers, rabbits, or lynxes, fur looks best on its original owners.
- Please do the right thing: Follow Zappos’ lead and ditch the fur.
All of these talking points are already inserted in the e-mail you can send in ten seconds by clicking here: http://ga0.org/campaign/FFF_Amazon
Filed under: GENERAL NEWS - International / National / Regional | Leave a Comment »