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Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 09:57 GMT
Shoppers 'mistakenly buying fur'
The RSPCA has warned real fur is being sold by mistake in UK stores after it bought items from shops in West Sussex.

Gloves with rabbit fur cuffs and a coat trimmed with Arctic fox fur were bought from branches of Edinburgh Woollen Mill and TK Maxx in Horsham a year ago.

The charity said shoppers could be misled by poor labelling.

TK Maxx expressed "great surprise and regret" at the news, while Edinburgh Woollen Mill said rabbit fur was a by-product of the food industry.

The RSPCA has launched a campaign called 100% Fake urging retailers to carry out more stringent checks on their products.

Shoppers are also being urged to check all fur-like items before they buy them, as retailers are not required by law to label garments as fur, providing the labels they do use are not misleading.

We are pleased that the RSPCA has brought this to our attention
Deborah Dolce, TK Maxx

The RSPCA said the coat from TK Maxx was labelled as polyester and nylon, while the gloves from Edinburgh Woollen Mill had a label which said they were acrylic.

David Bowles, head of external affairs for the RSPCA, said: "We believe that real fur is mistakenly being widely sold in the UK."

David Read, marketing manager at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, said the retailer had received confirmation from its supplier that the fur used on the gloves was a by-product of the food industry.

"No forward purchases of any fur products will be made under the Edinburgh Woollen Mill brand labels," he said.

TK Maxx director Deborah Dolce said the company was "proud to have implemented a long-standing policy with regard to not buying or selling real fur product and we never knowingly sell fur".

She said it was with "great surprise and regret" that a designer coat with real fur trim was found in one of its stores.

"We are pleased that the RSPCA has brought this to our attention so that we can learn how this error occurred and so that we can pursue this with the manufacturer."

EU to ban cat and dog fur trade
19 Jun 07 |  Europe
Officers call for fur labelling
23 Jan 07 |  Southern Counties
NY store drops 'faux fur' jackets
23 Dec 06 |  Americas

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