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December 6, 2011

HSUS Shareholder Resolution Asks Ross Stores for Fur-Free Policy

Policy would protect animals, company, consumers

The Humane Society of the United States has submitted a shareholder resolution asking the department store chain Ross to develop a policy to prohibit the sale of products that contain animal fur. Such a 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’s fur division. “With so many warm and fashionable alternatives available, there is no reason to sell animal fur.”

Over the past five years, The HSUS has identified falsely-advertised or falsely-labeled fur garments by dozens of brands and retailers in the fashion industry, including at Ross, which was named in an HSUS 2007 Federal Trade Commission petition as selling a falsely labeled jacket.

Since lack of transparency and quality control in the fur industry puts Ross and its customers at continued risk of being duped, a fur-free policy would 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, including Ross, being named in HSUS petitions filed before the FTC, 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 raccoon dogs, foxes, rabbits, mink and coyotes, are killed every year for fur, either on fur factory farms or in steel 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 soil, much less dig, and semi-aquatic mink have no access to swimming water.
  • Animals on fur factory farms are killed by anal and genital electrocution, neck breaking, gassing and poisoning, and the practice of live skinning is well documented 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 several 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 – Jordan Crump, 301-548-7793, jcrump@humanesociety.org

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