P Diddy rapped for selling coats made from dog pelts

Store pulls 'designer' items off shelves after 'fake fur' claim is proved wrong

A A A

P Diddy, the king of bling and a fashion inspiration to millions of hip hop fans, has been heavily criticised for selling designer coats made with fur from dogs. The animals, from China, are killed using barbaric methods.

Multi-millionaire Diddy - real name Sean Combs - has been selling the coats under his designer label Sean John. A £122 hooded snorkel jacket was being sold through the Macy's department store's website with an "imitation rabbit fur collar".

But when customers took delivery they found that the jacket carried the wording "genuine raccoon fur". Tests conducted by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), America's largest animal charity, found that the fur actually came from raccoon dogs, which are found across Asia but raised in huge numbers in China specifically for their pelts.

Undercover footage of raccoon dog slaughter and fur production in China filmed by the charity revealed the "gruesome" way the animals are treated.

Kristin Leppert, fur campaign manager for the HSUS, said: "It is a really gruesome process. They are raised in intensive confinement and they are not even unconscious when they are rendered.

"They grab the animals' back legs and throw them down to the ground hitting their head and their bodies - then they hang them up while they are still alive. Our video shows the pile of bodies afterwards and their eyes are still blinking and their heads are still moving. There are millions of them raised and killed in China because there are no animal welfare laws."

Wayne Pacelle, the president of the HSUS, added: "It is well documented that the killing of animals in China for their fur is inhumane and barbaric. Fur is a messy business and China ranks as the leading exporter of fur."

Yesterday, Diddy pledged to remove the fur from his range immediately. Macy's - one of the best known retailers in the world - last week also pulled the jackets from its shelves.

In a victory for anti-fur campaigners, Macy's yesterday pledged to use fake fur trims in the future manufacture of the coats.

A spokesman for the retailer said it removed the jackets when the issue came to its attention: "Our company has a standing policy against the selling of any dog or cat fur. This policy is clearly communicated to all suppliers. Any violation of our policies or contracts is pursued vigorously with our suppliers."

P Diddy said yesterday that he had no knowledge that dog fur was being used and promised fake fur would be used in future: "I was completely unaware of the nature of this material, but as soon as we were alerted, the garments were pulled off the Macy's floor and website. I have instructed our outerwear licensee to cease the production of any garments using this material immediately."

Chrissie Hynde, the musician and animal rights campaigner, said the Sean John case was part of an emerging trend: "Fur has definitely been sneaking back in the form of trim. Now there are all these young people following this "bling" culture that is totally materially based. There is a smash-and-grab mentality and there's no room for thinking about animals."

The Independent On Sunday has been campaigning to end the use of fur from cruelly treated animals and for the introduction of a clear labelling system.

Price of fur: Dogs are skinned alive

The raccoon dogs killed to line the hoods of Sean John coats are bred mainly in China, where fur farmers hold about four million of their pelts. They are so named because of their resemblance to the smaller furry mammal, although they are only distantly related. Animal welfare campaigners say many of the dogs are stunned and then skinned while still alive.

Fur Campaign: What we are demanding

1. An end to the use of fur from animals which are cruelly treated, for example the two million cats and dogs raised in poor conditions for their fur in China or seals that are inhumanely slaughtered.

2. A halt to the practice of farming animals taken from the wild, such as foxes and mink, which are denied the basic freedoms they need and suffer distress when killed.

3. We want a universal system of labelling for fur, which clearly states its type and origin.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on