Walmart Canada removed slippers containing real fur from their inventory after receiving a complaint from The Animal Defense League of Canada. The slippers, made in China, had been labeled as faux fur. It was determined that the slippers were in fact made of rabbit fur. Walmart has a no-fur policy and immediately removed the offending item from their shelves when the mistake was brought to their attention.
This is yet another instance of the deliberate mislabeling of a Chinese-made product involving fur.
In November, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) filed a lawsuit in D.C. Superior Court against six retail giants. The complaint, filed against Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Dillard’s, Lord & Taylor and Andrew Marc, claims the retailers engaged in false advertising and mislabeling of fur garments.
According to the HSUS, consumers who shop at these stores are being duped into buying items they believe are faux fur but are actually raccoon dog fur from China. Raccoon dogs possess thick fluffy coats with a raccoon-like pattern.
Dog and cat fur represents a huge industry in China where millions are slaughtered every year. The animals are kept in incredibly inhumane conditions and routinely skinned alive: a brutal truth which has been well documented by Humane Society International.
Chinese manufacturers have been increasingly deceitful with their labeling practices. Investigators warn that this behavior will only increase in the wake of recent decisions such as the EU ban on the import, export and trade of cat and dog fur effective Jan. 1, 2009. According to the HSUS, the ban was passed unanimously after international outrage over images of dogs and cats being slaughtered for their fur. It takes approximately 12 dogs or 28 cats to make a full coat, more if puppies or kittens are used.
With Chinese manufacturers doing whatever it takes to get their merchandise into your hands, it’s buyer beware. Don’t take labels for granted. If it feels like the real thing, it probably is.