‘Faux Fur’ Being Sold in UK Stores Was Really From Cats, Rabbits and Other Animals

A new investigation has found that compassionate consumers looking to avoid buying real fur are once again being misled by retailers, and are unwittingly supporting a horrifying industry.

The latest investigation, which was conducted by the Humane Society International/UK and Sky News, was prompted by Donna Allison, a concerned consumer in the UK who believed she had purchased shoes that had real fur trim on them that were labeled as faux. Sadly, she was right.

According to HSI, Allison bought the shoes from the chain Missguided, and despite the label listing only man-made materials and the store assuring her that its policy is only to sell faux fur, investigators found that it was real, and that it was actually fur from a cat.

“My life is basically animals and cats, so it’s really hurtful, really shocking,” she told Sky News. “Whether they know they are selling it or not there needs to be something done about it. They need to be more responsible for what they are selling.”

Unfortunately, the problem goes far beyond a single pair of shoes, and it’s affecting numerous furbearing animals. As HSI noted in a statement, even though the EU has banned dog, cat and seal fur, and all fur farming was banned in the UK more than a decade ago, imports of fur from a number of species including fox, rabbit, mink, coyote, racoon dog and chinchilla can still be legally sold there.

In addition to the shoes with cat fur, many other well-known stores were exposed for selling faux fur that was really made of animals including rabbit, raccoon dog, fox and mink, despite claims that they are fur-free.

Two stores found to have sold real fur, including Missguided and House of Fraser, are investigating the issue and have removed items from their stores, but there’s little accountability for retailers selling mislabeled items and the problem is a big one for both consumers who would never otherwise support the fur trade, and for the millions of animals who are forced to endure lives on factory-farm style fur farms before meeting a gruesome death, and those trapped in the wild.

HSI points out that banning fur farming on moral grounds, and fur from just some species in the UK, makes little ethical sense when all furbearers suffer for this industry, but pushing for a total ban likely would have been challenged by EU members that still allow fur farming. Now, the organization believes Brexit offers an opportunity to push for a total ban on the import of fur from all furbearing animals, which would be in line with what a majority of consumers want.

Claire Bass, executive director of HSI/UK, added in a statement:

“We know that the vast majority of British people reject the inherent cruelty of the fur trade but at the moment they are not getting the right information as consumers to avoid it. Clear labelling of all fur is an obvious starting point that will likely reduce the UK’s fur trade significantly, but we don’t believe that goes far enough. Whether it’s fur from coyotes caught in the wild in agonising traps, raccoon dogs and foxes enduring miserable lives and painful deaths by electrocution on fur farms, or cats bludgeoned to death in China, we believe all fur is cruel and should be banned regardless of species. Morally, there is no logic to banning fur from some animals and not others, and Brexit means we could have the opportunity to reflect public opinion and make the UK the world’s first fur-free nation.”

Take action!

Sign the Care2 petition asking the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) enforce accurate labeling on all fur sold in the UK.

Photo credit: Dzīvnieku brīvība


Claire Jeffrey
Claire Jeffreyabout a year ago


Marie W
Marie W1 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Carl R
Carl R1 years ago


Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla1 years ago

So sad, but I am not surprised at all :(

Rosslyn O
Rosslyn O1 years ago

Just totally unethical! So wrong at every level!

Colleen W
Janey W1 years ago

why buy anything "fur" at all???????

Telica R
Telica R1 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I agree Jennifer H

Carl R
Carl R1 years ago


Mark T
Mark T2 years ago


Jennifer H
Jennifer H2 years ago

Go after the manufacturers who are committing fraud with the inaccurate labeling. In addition, all fur needs to be "faux".