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Harvey Nichols advised by Trading Standards to stop misleading customers on fur


By Vivian Hendriksz

15 Nov 2016

It has been close to two-years since Harvey Nichols turned over its previous decade-long fur-free policy and began selling fur in its stores again. Although the department store claims all its fur products come from “Origin Assured” farms, an official complaint has been lodged against Harvey Nichols for falsely misleading its customers on the truth of where the items come from.

A Harvey Nichols customer has filed an official complaint with the Trading Standards after retail staff told her all fur sold in stores stemmed from animals who have been “treated well” and that they only sell fur from animals killed for meat, despite the fact that animals such as foxes and minks are rarely eaten or kept in conditions on fur farms which mimic their natural habitat in the wild. In response, the UK Trading Standards have stepped forward and advised Harvey Nichols against making similar claims ever again, stating that there are “limitations on the company's ability to verify [animal] welfare”, and that it should take steps to improve the “training of staff specific to this area”.

Animal rights organisation PETA warns of danger of believing certifications such as “Origin Assured”, a label which was created by fur trade organisations which aims to assure customers the fur they purchase comes from a country where animal welfare regulations are enforced. Fur from farms in 29 countries around the world can be potentially labelled as “Origin Assured” simply because these nations have environmental standards, animal-welfare laws, or best-practice guidelines. However, the question always remains is whether or not these regulations are being enforced and upheld.

Numerous undercover exposes from animal rights groups such as PETA, Four Paws and the Humane Society International reveal the unfathomable scoop of abuse and suffering animals such as foxes, minks, chinchillas, rabbits and raccoons face on fur farms which bear this label. Confined to small wire cages without enrichments for the most of their short-lived lives, animals turn on each other and self-harm, chewing off tails and limbs whilst failing to receive proper veterinary care, before being gassed, anally electrocuted or bludgeoned to death for their fur.

"The fur on Harvey Nichols' racks is the product of a cruel, violent, and bloody business, plain and simple", says PETA Director Elisa Allen. "PETA is calling on Harvey Nichols to stop misleading its customers and permanently reinstate its fur-free policy."

Photos: Harvey Nichols, Corporate website, PETA "Origin Assured"