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November 15, 2011

HSUS Shareholder Resolution Asks Kohl’s for Fur-Free Policy

Policy would protect animals, consumers, company.

The Humane Society of the United States submitted a shareholder resolution asking Kohl’s to develop a policy to prohibit the sale of products that contain animal fur. The proposed policy would protect consumers from misleading fur labels and advertisements and end the company’s affiliation with cruel practices found in the fur industry.

“Many retailers have already agreed to phase out the sale of animal fur because of the cruelty and false labeling and advertising that have consistently plagued the retail industry,” said Andrew Page, senior director for The HSUS' wildlife abuse and fur campaigns. “With so many warm and fashionable alternatives available, there is no reason to sell animal fur.”

Over the past three years, The HSUS has identified dozens of falsely-advertised or falsely-labeled fur garments across the retail industry. Besides the millions of foxes, mink and raccoon dogs who spend their entire lives in cramped cages, pets also suffer as a result of the fur trade. Just last month, in Oregon, Wis. – a town 65 miles from Kohl’s headquarters – a dog named Handsome was reportedly killed by a trap commonly used by fur trappers while on a walk with his owner.

Lack of transparency and quality control in the fur industry puts Kohl’s and its customers at continued risk of being duped. Kohl’s size and popularity provide an opportunity for it to protect both consumers and animals.

A copy of The HSUS' shareholder resolution is available upon request.


Facts:

  • Leading retailers and designers like JCPenney, Sears, Forever 21, Daffy’s, Liz Claiborne, Urban Outfitters, Gap, J. Crew, Overstock.com, John Bartlett, Charlotte Ronson, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have already implemented fur-free policies.
  • The HSUS has consistently found falsely-advertised and falsely-labeled animal fur garments that mislead customers. In recent years, misrepresentation of fur products has led to nearly two dozen companies being named in HSUS petitions filed before the Federal Trade Commission, six companies named in an HSUS lawsuit before the D.C. Superior Court, and multiple media stories about additional companies whose sales representatives misrepresented animal fur to reporters posing as customers.
  • The quality of faux fur has improved dramatically in recent years, making it a suitable alternative for products that require the look and feel of animal fur.
  • Millions of animals, including foxes, rabbits, raccoons, mink and coyotes, are killed every year specifically for fur, either in fur farms or in outdoor traps.
  • Animals on fur factory farms spend their entire lives crammed in wire cages, often exhibiting neurotic behaviors like constant spinning and pacing. Foxes can never touch the soil, much less dig, and semi-aquatic mink have no access to swimming water. To deny these strongly instinctual behaviors causes extreme stress in animals.
  • Animals on fur farms are killed by anal and genital electrocution, neck breaking, gassing and poisoning, and the practice of live skinning persists in China. The United Kingdom has banned fur farming because of inhumane practices.
  • In the wild, some terrified and injured animals caught in steel-jaw leghold traps try to escape by chewing off their own limbs. In some states, trappers are not required to check traps for several days, leaving animals with prolonged suffering. When trappers do return, they often kill the animals by beating them, stomping on them or shooting them in the head. Many countries and several U.S. states have banned or severely restricted the use of steel-jaw leghold trap.

 

Media Contact – Anna West, 301-258-1518, awest@humanesociety.org

 

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