US animal rights activists protest China fur
Animal rights activists protesting outside a New York department store on Monday accused clothing makers Tommy Hilfiger and Sean John of using fur from China, where they say animals are skinned alive.
Playing video of so-called fur farms in China, members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals stood outside Macy's department store in midtown Manhattan, hoping to catch the attention of passersby at the busy intersection.
The activist group cited results of an investigation, released last month by the Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan and Swiss Animal Protection that showed mistreatment of animals in the giant fur-exporting country.
The video shows raccoons and foxes being beaten or slammed to the ground and still struggling as their skin is removed.
Much of the fur from China is used as trim on lower-end garments such as ski jackets, PETA said.
"Fur has fallen from favor," said PETA Vice President Dan Mathews. "They're trying to sneak it back on cheap imports from China."
A spokesman for Macy's said: "Unfortunately, as we are not aware and have no background of the specific charges leveled by the protesters in this particular case, we feel it is inappropriate for us to comment on this."
Representatives for Tommy Hilfiger and Sean John did not return calls seeking comment.
PETA said it plans to show the gruesome video at malls around the country to dissuade Americans from buying fur.
Traditional luxury fur sales have risen in recent years, while several retailers also report strong sales of lower-end fur items such as trimmed goods.