Raccoon Dogs Skinned Alive To Make Boots


Shocking news was released by Humane Society International tying the famous Australian Ugg boot company to the horrific animal cruelty in the fur trade.

An investigation by HSI found boot makers for Ugg Australia footwear were among a group of Australian manufacturers mislabeling products as wool when they were actually using the pelts of raccoon dogs, skinned alive in China.

“HSI Director Verna Simpson said the Ugg boots her organization tested were just one of dozens of products being imported into Australia using raccoon dog fur and in other cases canine dog fur which is banned in Australia.”

The animal rights group gathered a team which included an animal hair identification expert to test and analyze a wide range of clothing.

One pair of Ugg boots tested by HSI revealed they contained dog raccoon fur, but were labeled “Australian sheep skin.”

The tragic plight of raccoon dogs has been documented by animal rights groups, and activists have tried to ban the use of their fur. The animals are kept in extremely cruel conditions on farms in China. When they are ready to be harvested for their pelts, the dogs are severely beaten and then skinned alive.

Raccoon dogs are indigenous to East Asia and related to wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs.

Graphic video filmed by Swiss Animal Protection documented how the terrified animals are beaten with sticks and kicked in the head to keep them still while workers skin them and toss them into heaps to die.

HSI has asked both the Australian government and Ugg Australia for comments. A spokesperson for Home Affairs, Minister Brendan O’Connor told the animal rights group the government would not ban the import of raccoon dog fur. He explained Australia only bans the import of endangered animals and plants.

“Extending the ban to fur products from the Asiatic raccoon, or ‘raccoon dog’ is not Government policy at this time,” said O’Connor.

In the past Ugg Australia spokesperson Lena McDonald denounced the use of raccoon dog fur by other brands and said it tarnished the entire Ugg boot industry.

McDonald continued to defend her company’s product saying the boots tested by HSI were not official “Ugg” products. She said her company used its own local tannery to ensure the quality and standards of its boots. She added that at any time there were between 30-40 products using the word “ugg” but that many were not made in Australia and used overseas materials including fur.

“As far as I can see many of these boots are not made in Australia at all yet they have the word Australia and ugg on them,” she said.

Australia Customs and Border Protection expressed their concern about importing falsely labeled fur products. If they doubt the “authenticity of a product or documents,” they may require the importer to provide a sample for their own experts to test.

If that importer is found guilty, a penalty of $110,000 or three times the value of the goods could be given.

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Photo from 49925114@NO via flickr

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Amy D.
Amy D.about a year ago

We have the capabilities to make great things without killing or hurting animals.

Carole R.
Carole R.about a year ago

Absolutely disgusting.
There should be a law against this.

Angela P.
Angela Padovaniabout a year ago

Horrible treatment of animals. I see the article is from 2011. An update to know if this has stopped and the company suffered any consequences would be appreciated. Thank you for the repost.

Jordan G.
Jordan G.about a year ago

What are the words one needs to describe this?
I'm completely at a loss.

Doris Khong
Doris Khongabout a year ago

All animals are beautiful and each is special in its own way; human beings ought to learn to admire & appreciate BEAUTY of Nature & Animals created by our Almighty God; we don't destroy the beautiful things as they add beauty, life & joy to our lives; can you imagine living in this world with only human beings???!!! No nature & no animals...so, WHY do "human beings" still abuse & kill beautiful animals???!!!

Maury Clahms
Just Humanabout a year ago

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Gandhi.

Fi T.
Fi T.about a year ago

No more sacrifice or torture for human wants

Susan Griffiths
Susan Griffithsabout a year ago

Until animals are no longer regarded as a piece of property to be 'owned' by a human and instead recognized, by law, as having their own freestanding rights, such cruelty will continue to flourish and be prosecuted (if at all) as only a minor infringement.

Jana DiCarlo
Jana DiCarloabout a year ago

no excuses

Jeannet Bertelink
Jeannet B Bertelinkabout a year ago