Liberty bows to pressure over fur sales

Liberty has become the latest major retailer to bow to pressure from animal rights activists and stop selling fur.

The upmarket department store on Regent Street in central London announced its decision in an e-mail to the Campaign to Abolish the Fur Trade (Caft). It follows a protracted lobbying effort which saw hundreds of activists bombard the company with e-mails and stage a demonstration outside the store last November.

Liberty's move comes in the wake of Selfridges' decision to go fur-free in May. Other companies to have made the move include Harvey Nichols, Fenwicks, House of Fraser and Debenhams. Harrods closed its fur salon in 1990, but continues to sell garments with fur trims.

The use of furs from lynx, fox, beaver and sable to astrakhan and broadtail was one of the headline-grabbing features of the Paris and Milan catwalks this year. While some dismissed it as an indulgence of publicity-hungry couture designers, campaigners feared it could be the start of a dangerous trend. Elizabeth Jagger's appearance at London Fashion Week draped in a fox stole provoked fury from animal rights activists.

The British Fur Traders Association said its members saw growth last year of 33 per cent on trade worth up to £500m.

Caft said it was now focusing its efforts on convincing Joseph, the fashion retailer that was recently the subject of a £140m takeover by a Japanese clothing firm, to stop selling fur. The company has already been told to stop offering it at its concession in Selfridges and other department stores. No one at Joseph was available for comment yesterday.

Louise Stevenson, a spokeswoman for Caft, said Liberty's retail services manager, Richard Davis, announced the change of policy last week. His e-mail, posted on Caft's website followed an inquiry by one of the group's supporters.

Mr Davis said: "Liberty no longer sells fur and has no intention of doing so."

The group urged supporters to ring the company to applaud its decision. Those that did so were put through to a voicemail box.

Ms Stevenson said retailers who claimed the fur they sold was a by-product of the meat industry were misleading the public. Since fur farming was banned in Britain in 2003, furriers have imported pelts, largely from rabbits and mostly from China and Spain. While only 15 retailers - most of them boutique outlets - continue to offer fur products, about 400 designers still work in the material.

Ms Stevenson added: "Rabbits are killed for meat when aged between 10 and 12 weeks. At that age the fur is not deemed to be of a good enough quality. They prefer to use animals aged eight to nine months, when they have shed their first winter coats."

A spokeswoman for the British Fur Traders Association said fur remained an integral part of the fashion world and was rigorously governed by national and international laws.

"The views of animal rights organisations should not be forced on others, in particular through threats of intimidation against commercial enterprises," she said. "Unfortunately, not everyone understands the difference between animal welfare, which has the full commitment of our sector, and animal rights, which seeks to ban every animal use by man, whether for food, medical or scientific research, clothing or companionship."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Sport
Robin van Persie leaves the field at the King Power Stadium last Sunday
football
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as John Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
tv

Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year

News
In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.
news

News
people

London 'needs affordable housing'

Arts and Entertainment
music Band accidentally drops four-letter description at concert
Life and Style
tech
News
peopleIan Thorpe addresses Ricky Martin rumours
Arts and Entertainment
'Africa' will be Angelina Jolie's fifth film as a director
film

Mr and Mrs Smith star admits she's 'never been comfortable on-screen'

Arts and Entertainment
Australia singer Iggy Azalea has been attacked by Eminem in a new rap
music

Singer was ordered not to 'blow her rape whistle' in song 'Vegas'

Extras
indybest
News
Myleene Klass
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Commercial Property Surveyor

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading firms of Cha...

Recruitment Genius: Female Companions / Personal Assistants - Perm and Bank

£9 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are currently recruiting for a care ...

Recruitment Genius: Groundworker

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Ground-worker required for an e...

Randstad Education Cardiff: Maths Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: We are currently recruiting f...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines