RSPCA warns shoppers not to be fooled by ‘fake’ fur this Christmas

As the weather turns colder the RSPCA highlights concerns about the use of real animal fur – marketed as fake fur on some items of clothing.

As we head into winter, many shoppers will be thinking of updating their wardrobe with fashionable fur lined hooded coats and bobble hats – but the RSPCA warns they may unwittingly be supporting the fur trade.

Following on from an investigation carried out by Watchdog Live shown on the BBC on Wednesday 14th November, the charity is renewing its calls for people to be aware that what they are buying may be real fur from rabbits, foxes or even racoon dogs.

An RSPCA survey showed that 95% of the public would never wear real fur, but many items for sale in the UK are either incorrectly labelled or not labelled at all.

RSPCA wildlife expert Ros Clubb, said: “It’s not easy for shoppers who believe they are doing the right thing but are actually being duped. There are guides online for people to read to help identify what is real and fake, but the best thing you can do is to question the shop you are buying from about where they source their materials or simply avoid fur altogether.

“It’s distressing and completely unacceptable to see the results of tests carried out by Watchdog showing that fur from animals such as racoon dogs are being marketed in fake fur products. This simply removes the consumer choice about what they are buying as they are being lied to and misled. It also shows that times have not changed. The RSPCA found similar results back in 2007, with high street stores found to be selling mislabelled and unlabelled real fur.”

Legislation banning fur farming was introduced in England and Wales in 2000, with all fur farms shut down by January 2003. However, it is still legal to import some fur products from other countries and the Westminster government confirmed this month they have no plans to ban these. Shockingly, real fur can often be produced and sold for less fake fur.

The RSPCA would like to urge shoppers to look at this online guide to help identify whether fur is real.