On Saturday, December 18th, President Obama signed the Truth in Fur Labeling Act, legislation that will protect consumers from unintentionally buying products containing real fur by requiring accurate labeling on all fur products regardless of cost. Under the previous law manufacturers were not required to label or identify the fur as real on an article unless the cost exceeded $150. Under the new law all products containing fur must be labeled with the species of animal, the country of origin and the manufacturer.
The legislation was spurred, in part, by an undercover investigation by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that found many retailers and designers were selling apparel trimmed with animal fur that was unlabeled, mislabeled or falsely labeled as “faux fur.” Many of the fur trimmed garments labeled as “faux,” “raccoon,” or “coyote” were actually made with domestic dog, wolf or raccoon dog fur.
Many retailers and designers misled consumers about fur used in garments due to the increasing stigma associated with buying real fur, according to Michael Markarian, COO of HSUS.
While it is illegal to import, export, sell or advertise any domestic dog or cat fur in the United States, half of all fur garments entering the U.S. come from China, where a large number of domestic dogs and cats are killed for their fur. Because the previous law exempted certain fur items from being identified, the system was being abused and fur from dogs and cats has been entering the U.S. undetected.
“Most people would be outraged to learn that their favorite hat or pair of gloves was lined, not with faux fur, but with the fur of their favorite companion animal,” said Congressman James P. Moran, D-VA, who was one of the sponsors of the bill.
Now consumers who have ethical objection to fur, allergies or concern over where the fur has originated from, can make well-informed choices in their purchasing decisions.
Over 50 million animals are killed each year for their fur.
Photo credit:cc: flickr.com/photos/myeye