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December 8, 2011

Shareholder Resolution from The HSUS Asks Macy’s, Inc. for Raccoon Dog Phase Out

The Humane Society of the United States submitted a shareholder resolution asking Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, retail divisions of Macy’s, Inc., to develop a policy by the end of 2012 to phase out the sale of fur from raccoon dogs – the most falsely-advertised and mislabeled type of fur. The proposed policy would help protect consumers from misleading fur labels and advertisements and move the company away from one of the cruelest practices found in the fur industry.

"Consumers deserve protection from advertising and labeling deception," said Andrew Page, senior director for The HSUS' fur division. "Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s appear to be out of step with its competitors and shareholders deserve to understand what the company is capable of doing to end its support for this extreme cruelty.”

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.  Macy’s, Inc. was previously named in a HSUS lawsuit before the D.C. Superior Court for falsely advertising real raccoon dog fur as “faux” and Macy’s was also named in a HSUS petition filed before the Federal Trade Commission for misrepresenting raccoon dog fur. In addition to being commonly falsely advertised and mislabeled, raccoon dogs have been documented to be skinned alive in China.

“Many retailers and designers have already agreed to phase out the sale of raccoon dog fur because of the cruelty and false labeling and advertising that have consistently plagued the retail industry,” said Page. “Lack of transparency and quality control in the fur industry puts Macy’s and its customers at continued risk of being duped.”
A copy of The HSUS's shareholder resolution is available upon request.

Facts:
• Leading retailers and designers, like Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Bluefly, St. John Knits, Michael Kors, and Andrew Marc have policies in place that have or will phase out the sale of raccoon dog fur.
 
• The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has found raccoon dog fur to be the most falsely-advertised and labeled type of fur and it has consistently put customers at risk of being duped. In recent years, misrepresentation of raccoon dog fur products has led to many companies, including Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, being named in HSUS petitions filed before the Federal Trade Commission, a HSUS lawsuit before the D.C. Superior Court, and national television news coverage after salespeople misrepresented animal fur to reporters posing as customers.
 
• Multiple sources have documented raccoon dogs being skinned alive in China, the world’s leading supplier of raccoon dog fur pelts. Live skinning of animals is indisputably inhumane.
 
• Finland is the second largest supplier of raccoon dog pelts. Raccoon dogs in Finland are reported to killed by anal electrocution, a process that can cause the animals to suffer heart attacks while fully conscious. Before banning fur farming altogether, the U.K. banned anal electrocution of foxes.   Electrocution of furbearing animals has also been banned in New York State.
 
• Whether from China or Finland, raccoon dog fur is widely falsely advertised and labeled on garments.  For example, “Finnraccoon,” the trade name used by Finnish fur interests, would be a violation of federal law if placed on a label of a jacket being sold in the United States.
 

Media Contact – Jordan Crump, 301-548-7793, jcrump@humanesociety.org

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