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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 17:30 GMT
Hamster coats boycott call
Campaigners allege that hamsters suffer in the production of fur coats
Campaigners have called for a boycott of a Scottish store selling hamster fur coats.

They have claimed that at least 100 hamsters are gassed to make just one of the garments and described the practice as "Stone Age".

The Austrian-made coats have been on sale at the House of Bruar store in Perthshire.

The store has said it will look at its range of products in the light of customer reaction.

The coats have been sold for 1,750.

Animal rights groups believe House of Bruar has been the only retailer in Scotland stocking the Austrian-made coats.

This is very gory and it is unacceptable in this day and age that any animal should be killed purely for clothing
Doreen Graham
Scottish SPCA
They have called on shoppers to boycott the store at Blair Atholl in Perthshire, which they say also sells garments made of mink, fox and racoon fur.

Advocates for Animals spokeswoman Yvonne Taylor said: "This is horrifying, about 100 hamsters would be needed to make each coat."

Ms Taylor said that in some fur production, animals are still alive when the skinning process begins.

Customer reaction

The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called the garments "coats of death".

Scottish SPCA spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "This is very gory and it is unacceptable in this day and age that any animal should be killed purely for clothing.

"It really smacks of the Stone Age."

House of Bruar said it was worried that customers could be offended by the sale of the coats and hinted it might withdraw them from sale.

A spokesman said: "As a company, we pride ourselves on our relationship with our customers and are therefore concerned that we may have offended some people.

"We are constantly reviewing our product range in the light of customer feedback in our pursuit of excellence in customer service."

Thousands back animal fur ban
02 Dec 03  |  Scotland
New calls for fur trade ban
08 May 03  |  Europe
Fur protesters hijack catwalk
20 Feb 03  |  Wales

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