That “faux” fur trim on your coat — or your “faux” fur coat itself — might be made from dogs who lived and died in deplorable conditions in China, warns the Humane Society of the United States.
Most faux fur is indeed that. It’s fake. But an ironic twist of fate, because of a loophole in the Federal Fur Products Labeling Act, people seeking to be kindest to animals may actually be wearing man’s best friend.
The HSUS says one in seven fur coats is not labeled as fur, according to a KCRA report. In addition, the HSUS claims that retailers, including Burlington Coat Factory and Loehmann’s, have been falsely advertising real fur as faux fur. The fur may be from any fur-bearing animals, including dogs.
And no, the dogs are not simply brushed every day and their shed fur collected for coats. “Animal welfare groups, including the HSUS, have documented extremely cruel conditions under which fur-bearing animalsincluding dogs, cats and raccoon dogsare raised and killed in China,” reports the HSUS.
We will not provide a direct link in this article, but if you want to witness the horror first-hand, click on the link to this article, and then click on the hyperlink on the words “extremely cruel conditions.” I could not bring myself to watch more than a few seconds, but it might prove a rallying cry for any Dogsters brave enough to view it. But be forewarned: It is not for the faint of heart. It is apparently graphic in its depiction of brutality.
This practice has to stop. For now, one way to try to put an end to it is by not buying these products. Today Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, plans to introduce AB 1656, which would require manufacturers to identify fur when it’s used in a garment. Five other states have passed similar laws, according to KCRA.
We wonder, though, is this really enough to halt this brutal practice?
And what if you own something with “faux” fur? If you want to be able to tell if it’s real or fake, try to separate the fur, advises Pierre Gryzbowski, of The HSUS. “Most of the time, if the fur is fake you will see stitching. If it is real, you will see skin,” he says. The HSUS Field Guide To Telling Animal Fur From Fake Fur provides excellent detail of how to perform the inspection.
For now, if you want to be extra sure you’re staying away from wearing dog or other fur, just don’t buy or wear anything that looks or feels remotely like real fur. And don’t rely on labels or salespeople. As you can see from this fascinating investigation by CBS-Los Angeles, labels don’t have to divulge certain information, and salespeople usually just don’t know.