By Mark Albright, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Animal rights activists found a new tool to fight fur: truth-in-advertising law.
The Humane Society of the U.S. last week reached out-of-court settlements with Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor to stop them from advertising as faux fur garments actually trimmed with coyote or dog pelts.
The settlements came after a District of Columbia judge last month fined Neiman $25,000 for advertising items such as a $1,300 Burberry jacket as faux that was trimmed with what's known to the fashion world as raccoon dog, a canine bred in China for its fur. Another name is finnraccoon, a trade name for the same breed raised in Finland.
All four department store chains agreed to pay the Humane Society's legal bills for the challenge, change practices and support a rewrite of the 1951 federal Fur Labeling Act that currently does not require labeling fur trim that wholesales for less than $150.
"If people think they are buying fake fur, it should be fake," said Pierre Grzybowski, Fur Free Campaign manager.
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