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Humane Society: 'Faux fur' often animal hair

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Humane Society found 24 of 25 "faux fur" jackets made from dog hair
• Fur is taken from the raccoon dogs native to Asia and Northern Europe
• Jackets sold in major department stores, Humane Society says
• Lawmakers introducing legislation that would ban import of raccoon dog fur
From Sally Holland
CNN Washington Bureau
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Many fur or fur-trimmed jackets sold in the United States as having "faux fur" -- or not labeled at all -- are actually made, at least in part, from dog fur, the Humane Society of the United States said at a Capitol Hill news conference Wednesday.

Out of 25 jackets that it tested, the group said, 24 were incorrectly labeled. In many cases, it said, tests showed the fur came from raccoon dogs, a fox-like nocturnal residents of Asian and northern European forests that bear a remarkable resemblance to raccoons.

Raccoon dogs are part of the canine family.

It said it had bought the jackets in the United States from a variety of department stores, including Macy's, Burlington Coat Factory and J.C. Penney. Designers and brands included Sean John, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, it said. Most of the jackets tested were labeled as coming from China. (Watch Humane Society spokesman explain where the fur comes from Video)

Law prohibits the import or sale of dog and cat fur products. But if the amount of fur on a product is valued at less than $150, no label is required.

Lawmakers move to ban imports

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, said consumers are being duped into buying garments that are trimmed with fur but are mislabeled as faux fur or not labeled at all.

Moran said he and Rep. Mike Ferguson, R-New Jersey, plan to continue their efforts to plug the loopholes that allow such products, in part by adding the raccoon dog to the list of outlawed furs and requiring all products to be labeled, regardless of value.

The two representatives said they have reintroduced legislation they first put forward during the last session of Congress.

The Humane Society said that it is in discussion with many of the department stores that sold the garments it tested, and several had pulled such products from their stores when shown the group's findings.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the Humane Society said its ongoing investigation into fur products found:

  • Dog fur sold online as "faux" by several major retailers.
  • Raccoon dog fur on coats sold online as having raccoon or rabbit fur.
  • Mislabeled or unidentified raccoon fur on other jackets.
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    The Humane Society says the "faux fur" on these coats comes from raccoon dogs, a species native to Asia and northern Europe that looks like a raccoon.

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