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Illegal cat fur sold by high street retailer

UK fashion chain Missguided has allegedly been selling shoes containing cat fur on the British high-street.

Following a joint investigation by Humane Society International/UK and Sky News, laboratory tests confirmed that the pom-poms of fur decorating a Missguided shoe were real cat fur.

The import and sale of fur from domestic cats and dogs has been banned across the EU since 2009.

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The shoes, which have been on sale by the retailer both online and at its Westfield Stratford store, list only man-made materials on the label.

HSI has contacted Missguided about the finding and has forwarded the information to Trading Standards and asked that the enforcement authority investigates the findings further in relation to the The Cat and Dog Fur (Control of Import, Export and Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008.

Concerned shopper Donna Allison, who alerted HSI/UK, said: “I find it horrifying that Missguided and other retailers are selling real fur — in my case cat fur — and that they didn’t appear to take action when I raised my concerns about this serious issue.

“All retailers should be taking action to ensure complete traceability of their materials. It’s unacceptable that they are helping fund an industry where animals have to endure unimaginable cruelty and for something so unnecessary.

“I urge everyone to be more vigilant and understand how to identify and ensure they’re buying faux fur.”

Claire Bass, executive director of HSI/UK, said: “It is extremely concerning to find cat fur on sale illegally in the UK, both because of the cruelty that cat and all fur products represent, but also because it will rightly dent the confidence of consumers seeking to buy only fake fur.

“Fake faux fur is a growing problem; when items have cheap price tags and labels saying ‘100 percent acrylic’, consumers can understandably be caught out mistaking them for fake fur, when in fact they contain fur from a tormented animal.

“Independent stores, popular markets like Camden, as well as online retailers such as Amazon are awash with cheap animal fur-trimmed garments that are either mislabelled as ‘faux’ or not labelled at all.

“To properly protect both animals and consumers the government needs to take action to stop Britain’s insidious fur trade.”

The Missguided ‘fake faux’ fur shoes are the latest in a large number of similar items exposed by HSI/UK over the past couple of years, including several well-known high-street brands. Most recent items discovered by HSI’s secret shoppers from December 2016 – February 2017 include:

  • another shoe style at Missguided that tested positive for rabbit fur;
  • a pair of gloves at ‘fur free’ retailer House of Fraser that tested positive for rabbit fur;
  • a bobble hat sold on Amazon UK as faux fur but testing positive for raccoon dog or fox fur (this listing included an on-screen no-fur assurance); and
  • another bobble hat sold on popular fashion boutique website Lily Lulu sold as “faux fur” online, labelled as 10% marmot on delivery but testing positive for raccoon dog fur when sent to the lab

Missguided stressed has removed the shoes from sale and stressed its no fur policy.

A spokesperson told Sky News: “We will be launching an internal investigation with the relevant suppliers and will ensure these matters are addressed urgently.”

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