NSPCA warns against the sale of fake fake fur

2013-09-10 10:35
Some products labelled as faux fur is made from dogs and cats, research has shown.

Some products labelled as faux fur is made from dogs and cats, research has shown. (http://www.shutterstock.com)

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Cape Town - Fake fur may actually be real fur in a bid to fool unsuspecting consumers, the National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) has warned.

While public sentiment toward real fur is generally negative due to the campaigning of animal rights activists, some manufacturers have taken to using real fur and disguising it to appear as fake fur.

"Fur trim is often perceived to be fake but may well be cat or dog fur as they are cheaper to use. Fox fur, for example, has become so cheap that it has replaced the artificial article," said the NSPCA.

Generally, real fur does not have labels sewn on it, but some manufacturers are taking measures to disguise real fur and fake.

"Dyeing fur bright colours also disguises the fact that the fur is real, and manufacturers in China have been known to stitch in labels onto cat or dog fur products to disguise the true identity of these items and make them more marketable," said the NSPCA.


Faux fur products marketed in retail stores have been found to be real fur.

A report by the New York Times said that retailer Neiman Marcus and others settled with US federal authorities over the fraudulent labelling of synthetic fur.

Urban Outfitters issued an apology in 2010 for selling a fur-trimmed cardigan mislabelled as synthetic fur. The company said that it was misled into believing that the fur was fake.

The Humane Society (HSUS) in the US conducted in investigation into products sold in the US that contained dog and cat fur, in violation of federal law.

The organisation criticised the practices of manufacturers in Asia, saying that animals are abused.

"Much of the domestic dog fur in the world market comes from China, where conditions are brutal - animals beaten, crammed into tiny cages, and even skinned alive," said Pierre Grzybowski, HSUS policy and enforcement manager for the Fur-Free Campaign.

The NSPCA said that the practice of real fur masquerading as synthetic appears to be widespread, particularly as the cost of producing furs from animals like dogs and cats is cheaper than industrial techniques.

Consumer action

"In a test, the NSPCA purchased a 'furry' cat figurine and sent it to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute for forensic testing. The results came back stating that although it was not possible to determine exactly what kind of animal fur it was because of the tanning method that had been used, there was no doubt that it had been made from real fur," the NSPCA said.

The organisation said that the best way to limit the production of fake synthetic fur was for consumers to take a stand against products sold with fur-type trim.

"The power is the hands of the consumers: Refuse to buy products containing or including real or fake fur, and inform the owner that will only support their goods once they stop stocking animal-based novelties."

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Read more on:    nspca  |  animals

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