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Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 06:47 GMT
Homeless given furs for Christmas
unwanted fur coats
The furs would have been burned or buried in protest
An animal rights group is giving Liverpool's homeless mink coats for Christmas.

On Thursday People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) will hand out 30 all-fur coats and jackets in a variety of styles.

Dawn Carr, of Peta, told BBC News Online they had been donated by animal-lovers who had themselves received them as presents or people who had had a change of heart about the suffering of animals captured in the wild or raised on fur farms.

To show these furs were "recycled", the garments had had white stripes painted on the arms, so the recipients would not be left "open to ridicule for wearing something so cruel", Ms Carr said.

We cannot bring these animals back - but we can send a message that only people truly struggling to survive have any excuse for wearing fur

Peta director Ingrid Newkirk

Bond girl Barbara Bach and Playboy magazine centrefold Kimberley Hefner were among those who had donated furs, she added.

They had been "sickened by exposÚs of cruelty to animals caught in steel-jaw leg-hold traps and driven mad in tiny fur farm cages", Ms Carr said.

"Millions of caged animals die on European fur farms every year."

Peta has already sent shipments of unwanted fur coats to war refugees in Afghanistan and homeless people in Denver in the United States.

The coats would otherwise have been burned or buried.

Ms Carr said Liverpool had been chosen as the first UK city to benefit because it was a "cold city with lots of homeless people".

Sophie Ellis Bextor holding the bloody carcass of an animal
Pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor supports the campaign

But Peta hoped to repeat the great fur giveaway in all the country's "main cities", she added.

Director Ingrid Newkirk added: "We cannot bring these animals back - but we can send a message that only people truly struggling to survive have any excuse for wearing fur."

Last month Peta launched a new advertising campaign against fur, alleging cruelty to animals.

Pop star Sophie Ellis Bextor is fronting the adverts, holding the bloody carcass of an animal above the caption: "Would you like the rest of your fur coat?"


Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

12 Nov 02 | Entertainment
14 Dec 01 | Entertainment
23 Aug 01 | Business
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