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Humane Society seeks fines for dog-fur clothing

March 13, 2007|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A national animal rights group wants to put some fur-clothing makers and high-end retailers in the doghouse.

The Humane Society of the United States plans to ask the Federal Trade Commission today to fine designers and retailers of apparel that contains mislabeled fur from dogs, wolves and raccoon dogs. The group also wants inventories seized and perhaps criminal charges filed.

"Consumers have a right to know what they are purchasing," said Michael Markarian, the group's executive vice president.

The documents filed with the FTC name designers Andrew Marc and Michael Kors, among others. Retailers including Barneys New York, Macy's, Dillard's, J.C. Penney, and Neiman Marcus also were cited.

The petition stems from a probe by the Humane Society that it said turned up products made with fur from dogs, wolves or raccoon dogs, a species found mainly in Asia, and sold as fake fur or other types of fur in violation of federal law. Mislabeling fur is a misdemeanor punishable by as much as a $5,000 fine or a year in prison. Fur valued at less than $150 doesn't have to be labeled.

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