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Category: Fur

Clothing chain Papaya to stop selling fur

Papaya Add another retail chain to the ever-expanding list of stores that don't sell fur: Papaya, a clothing company with more than 90 stores around the U.S., has recently pledged to go fur-free.

The company made the decision to stop selling fur and fur-trimmed garments after receiving graphic videos about the fur industry from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Times' business blog Money & Co. reports.

Other popular clothing companies that have taken a similar stance on fur include Limited Brands, Wet Seal, Jones Apparel Group and Forever 21. The latter company has also partnered with the Humane Society of the United States to produce a line of T-shirts featuring animal-friendly messages about pet adoption, dogfighting and more.

According to Money & Co., Papaya will sell the fur products it currently has in stock but will no longer order fur items after the remaining ones are sold.


-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Papaya

Pamela Anderson tries to convince Orthodox lawmakers to back anti-fur bill in Israel

Pamela Anderson at the Western WallTEL AVIV, Israel — Former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson said Sunday she will try her powers of seduction while in Israel on an unlikely audience -- ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmakers.

Anderson, an honorary director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is in Israel to participate in the local version of "Dancing With the Stars."

Her work for animals "has been really inspiring," she said. "I feel like I have actually done something."

An anti-fur bill has been put on hold in Israel over concerns by ultra-Orthodox leaders that it could impact production of the characteristic fur hats worn by some men from Hasidic sects on holidays and other festive occasions.

To combat growing secularization of Jews to European society in the 18th century, Hasidic Jews decided that their way of dress should remain intact and not be influenced by fashion. Descendants of these communities to this day wear the black hats and coats of that period, including, at times, fur hats.

Anderson called Israel a "progressive" country because it had no fur farms, and said that it can serve as "an example for the rest of the world."

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Animal Liberation Front claims responsibility for Greek fur farm break-ins that set loose 50,000 minks

Minks ATHENS, Greece — An international animal rights activist group has claimed responsibility for releasing more than 50,000 minks from two fur farms in northern Greece.

In an online statement, the Animal Liberation Front says it carried out the attacks last week near the towns of Kastoria and Siatista, in the heart of Greece's fur region.

Thursday's statement said the break-ins were meant to hit the industry "and especially the disgusting 'fur towns' of Siatista and Kastoria, plagued with hundreds of fur stores."

Greece's National Fur Breeders' Assn. said most of the animals released into the local ecosystem were likely to die in the heat. It said the cost to the farm owners could exceed €1 million ($1.28 million).

Guess it wasn't faux: Celebrity fur-wearer Catherine Zeta-Jones tops PETA's Worst-Dressed List
'Glee' star Lea Michelle speaks out against fur in a new PSA for PETA

-- Associated Press

Photo: Minks are seen on the side of a road in Hiliodendro, near the northern Greek city of Kastoria, on  Aug. 30. Credit: Nikolas Giakoumidis / Associated Press

50,000 minks on the loose after weekend break-ins at Greek fur farms


THESSALONIKI, Greece — Police say break-ins at two fur farms have set more than 50,000 minks on the loose in northern Greece.

A statement from local police says the break-ins occurred Friday and Saturday near the city of Kastoria, which is the center of Greece's fur industry.

Regional TV channels showed farm employees chasing the animals with fishing nets on Monday.

The National Fur Breeders' Assn. says most of the released animals are likely to die in the late August heat. It says the cost to the farm owners could exceed $1.27 million.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident. But an animal rights group, calling itself the "Hawks of Reprisal," said it was responsible for a similar break-in last year.

'Skin Trade,' anti-fur documentary, has its L.A. premiere
'Glee' star Lea Michelle speaks out against fur in a new PSA for PETA

-- Associated Press

Photo: A mink is seen on the side of a road in Hiliodendro, near the northern Greek city of Kastoria, on  Aug. 30. Credit: Nikolas Giakoumidis / Associated Press

Bills about fur labeling, declawing, pet insurance and animal neglect are approved by California lawmakers

Dog and cat

Several bills affecting animals have made their way through the California Legislature in recent months and are poised to become law if they are signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Here's a roundup of recent legislative efforts to help animals in California.

Pet insurance: AB 2411 would require greater disclosure to policyholders by pet insurance providers. The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Dave Jones (D-Sacramento), was approved by the state Assembly earlier this year. The state Senate amended it before passing it, requiring a second vote from the Assembly, where it passed again this week.

AB 2411 would require pet insurance providers to disclose to consumers any coverage limits; exclusions of coverage based on a pet's preexisting condition; or reduction of coverage or premium increase based on prior claims. It would apply only to insurance policies issued on or after July 1, 2011. (Read the full text of the bill in PDF format.)

Declawing and devocalization: AB 2743, introduced by Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara), would prohibit landlords in California from requiring pet owners to declaw or devocalize their pets as a condition of tenancy. The bill would also prevent landlords from giving preferential treatment to tenants with declawed or "debarked" pets or phrasing advertising for their rental properties in a way that would discourage tenants with pets that aren't declawed or devocalized from applying for tenancy.

AB 2743 passed an Assembly vote in May; the state Senate amended it before passing it, and the Assembly passed it with the Senate's changes this week. (Read the full text of the bill in PDF format.)

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Figure skater Johnny Weir extols the virtues of his fur-filled closet in Bluefly.com video

We're always flummoxed when we hear a fur-wearer unapologetically sing the praises of wearing animal pelts as fashion statements.

We couldn't exactly say we were surprised, though, when figure skater Johnny Weir, who has infuriated animal lovers in the past with his furry skating costumes, did just that in a new "Closet Confessions" video for the clothing site Bluefly.com.

In the video, Weir describes his fur- and python-filled closet as "a constant swirl of happiness and movement" and doesn't bat an eye as he describes with glee his "fur tree" filled with lynx, fox and other animal pelts. (We have to admit, though, that the man knows how to pick a nice-looking bag.)

Weir said during an earlier controversy about his fur-wearing that "I totally get the dirtiness of the fur industry and how terrible it is to animals. But it's not something that's the No. 1 priority in my life ... There are humans dying every day. There are thousands if not millions of homeless people in New York City. Look at what just happened in Haiti. I tend to focus my energy, if there is a cause, on humans. While that may be callous and bad of me, it's my choice."

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'Skin Trade,' anti-fur documentary, has its L.A. premiere

A new independent documentary, "Skin Trade," aims to take on the fur industry with a combination of interviews with prominent animal advocates and graphic footage of the process by which a living animal is turned into a fur coat. "Skin Trade" had its Los Angeles premiere last week at Westwood's Majestic Crest Theater, and our colleague Emili Vesilind, a Times fashion blogger, was on hand to see the film and hear from its director.

"I just could not believe that people were still wearing fur," director Shannon Keith, an animal rights attorney and founder of the nonprofit organization Animal Rescue, Media & Education, said before the screening. "I knew it was high time to make this film because these animals are being tortured alive -- it's not a pretty thing."

Keith's film tackles topics including fur's use as a status symbol and efforts by the fur industry to brand pelts a "green" product because they're biodegradable. ("It's anything but green," actor and green activist Ed Begley Jr. says in an interview that's included in the documentary. "That, for me, is green-washing.") It includes interviews with fur-free designer Todd Oldham, actor and animal activist James Cromwell (who went vegan, he has said, as a result of his involvement in the movie "Babe"), PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk and other anti-fur activists.

Learn more about "Skin Trade" at The Times' fashion blog, All the Rage.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: A trailer for "Skin Trade." Credit: uncagedfilms via YouTube

'Glee' star Lea Michelle speaks out against fur in a new PSA for PETA

If her vocal talent weren't reason enough to love "Glee" star Lea Michelle, the fact that she's a vocal opponent of the fur industry may endear her to animal lovers. Michelle, 23, recently filmed a public service announcement for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to raise awareness about what's wrong with fur.

"I wanted to get involved with PETA's antifur campaign because it's just how I was raised ... to believe that you should not wear fur," Michelle explains in a video interview. (You can see the full interview on PETA's blog, but we'll warn you that it contains some graphic imagery.)

Beyond caring about the animals that suffer for the production of fur, Michelle cares about other animals as well -- she doesn't eat meat and has rescued, at various times, a stray dog and several stray kittens while on the set of "Glee." (When "Found" posters for the dog didn't draw a response, a "Glee" cast member adopted him. Michelle kept two of the kittens herself.) 

Michelle's antifur PSA alongside rescue dog Sailor was apparently sweet enough to melt even the snarkiest heart: In a post on his frequently catty celebrity gossip blog, Perez Hilton merely wrote "What a cute pup!" before giving a brief summary of the video.

California Assembly votes to close loophole on fur labeling
Guess it wasn't faux: Celebrity fur-wearer Catherine Zeta-Jones tops PETA's Worst-Dressed List

-- Lindsay Barnett

California Assembly votes to close loophole on fur labeling

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, looks over a vote tally after a measure 

she co-authored, with Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrence, concerning the labeling 

of fur on garments, was approved by the Assembly on a 46-7 vote

Coats, wraps and other clothes that are made with animal fur would need to have special labels in California under legislation adopted Monday by the state Assembly.

Lawmakers voted 46-7 to close a loophole in federal law that allows many fur products to go unlabeled. Current law requires labels only for garments that have $150 or more worth of animal fur.

The bill now goes to the state Senate for consideration. If it's signed into law, California would become the sixth state to impose the labeling requirement, joining Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

"I think there is an expectation that if clothing isn't labeled as real fur it must be fake, but this isn't always the case," bill author Fiona Ma said in a statement after the vote. "People have a right to know if they are buying raccoon dog or a polyester blend."

A raccoon dog is a canine species from Asia.

The bill by the San Francisco Democrat would require that all garments containing fur are labeled with the type of animal and the country of origin. Currently, manufacturers avoid labeling requirements by using cheap fur from raccoon dogs and other animals raised in foreign factories, Ma said.

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Just how responsible is PETA for a decline in fur sales?

Mathews In the 30 years since People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was founded (by its current president, Ingrid Newkirk, and Alex Pacheco, who is no longer affiliated with the group), it has become the largest organization of its kind and its name has become virtually synonymous with the animal-rights movement.

That level of ubiquity and the controversial nature of many of PETA's programs and strategies have made the group a lightning rod for many who oppose its stances.

The group has claimed at least part of the credit for a number of changes in the way animals are treated over the last 30 years; perhaps it's most famous for its anti-fur campaign. Without a doubt, PETA has been instrumental in increasing many people's awareness of the unpleasantness of the fur industry, with particular emphasis on so-called "fur farms" where animals like minks, chinchillas, raccoons and foxes are raised solely to be killed for their pelts.

Its advertising campaigns, specifically the celebrity-centric "I'd Rather Go Naked than Wear Fur" variety, are certainly eye-grabbing. But are they, and are other PETA strategies like the production of its sometimes-graphic FurIsDead.com website, really responsible for turning the tide against fur?

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