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RSPCA launches anti-fur campaign

The RSPCA has launched a new anti-fur campaign called 100% Fake after the animal protection charity found two high street chains selling unlabelled and mislabelled fur.

A mystery shopper employed by the RSPCA bought a coat with a real fur trim from TK Maxx in Horsham in December 2006. According to the RSPCA the label said the coat was made of polyester and nylon but made no mention of fur. The RSPCA's laboratory analysis identified the coat trim as Arctic fox.

Similarly a pair of gloves with a real fur trim was bought from an Edinburgh Woollen Mill in Horsham in December 2006. The label claimed the cuff was acrylic but the RSPCA said its analysis identified the trim as rabbit fur.

Deborah Dolce, director, TK Maxx said: "TK Maxx is proud to have implemented a long-standing policy with regard to not buying real fur product. It was therefore with great surprise and regret we learned a coat with real fur trim was found in one of our stores. TK Maxx buys a huge range of product from thousands of suppliers so we are committed to enforcing rigorous processes to ensure real fur product does not enter our business.

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill said in a statement: "The current position is that there is only one style of gloves in the EWM range which has any fur content. This is rabbit trim where we have written assurances from our supplier that it originates from the food trade. It is our clear stated intention to have no fur in the EWM ranges from spring 2008."

The 100% Fake campaign will ask retailers not to sell real fur and to carry out more stringent checks on the products they sell. It will also call on shoppers to check that any clothing they buy does not contain real fur.

There is no legal requirement for retailers to positively label fur. However labelling must not be misleading.

David Bowles, the RSPCA's head of external affairs, said: "We believe that real fur is mistakenly being widely sold in the UK. An RSPCA survey showed that 93% of people would not wear real fur, but a lot of shoppers are accidentally buying real fur assuming that it's fake because it is cheap and not clearly labelled."

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