Consumers have taken to social media with concerns about jackets with “raccoon fur” – because these coats are actually trimmed with dog fur.
This weekend, animal advocates reported on Facebook that Costco in Canada was featuring down-filled women’s coats from Atelier Noir. The hood trims are listed as having “natural Asiatic Raccoon fur” from China – but this fur doesn’t come from “raccoons.”
Raccoon dogs are so named because of their physical resemblance to raccoons, but they’re not closely related to raccoons – they’re canids – just like domestic dogs, wolves, and foxes.
Animal advocate Bob McKiernan posted on Costco’s Facebook page today, stating:
A Costco road show this weekend features coats trimmed with dead dog. A company rep staffing the booth acknowledged that the fur is, in fact, dog.
The two Costco supervisors that I spoke with assumed that the fur was fake.”
A closer examination of an Atelier Noir label (see slideshow accompanying this article) reveals that this isn’t fake fur, though – it’s “Natural Asiatic Raccoon Fur.” Translation? These jackets are trimmed with dog fur.
McKiernan’s post continues:
I then spoke with the warehouse manager who at first challenged my assertion that they were selling real dog fur…until I showed him a photo of the label and asked him to Google ‘Asiatic Raccoon.’
He was clearly upset by what he saw and promised to raise the issue with head office. May want to bring along some photos of Asiatic Raccoon Dogs if you are heading to Costco this weekend.
While animal lovers are outraged over the deceptively labeled and marketed outerwear, this isn’t the first time that a major retailer has sold dog fur coats to unsuspecting customers.
In September, an investigation by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) found that major retailer Kohl’s was selling coats with the label “faux-fur trim.” But it wasn’t faux fur – it was real fur from raccoon dogs.
According to PJ Smith, the Humane Society’s corporate outreach manager, raccoon dogs are a native species to Asia – and “raccoon dog fur is the species [the HSUS] considers the most misrepresented.”
The HSUS states that raccoon dogs are social animals that live in pairs or in groups. Males are helpful fathers who bring food to their pregnant mates and help raise their young. These animals suffer greatly at Chinese fur farms, where they are skinned alive for their fur. A PETA investigation showed that workers stomp on the heads and necks of animals who struggle when the workers are trying to make clean cuts of skin and fur.
Updates to this story will be posted as they occur.
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