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Call for a boycott of major fashion chain over animal cruelty claims

Sportsgirl under fire on social media

“I will never set foot in one of your stores again”.

It sounds dramatic but it is the overwhelming tone on the Facebook page of major fashion retailer Sportsgirl who are involved in a social media storm over the use of angora rabbit fur in their products.

“Highly disappointed with Sportsgirl”

“Boycott this store”

“You are a disgrace”

“Pick up your game”

The company has been bombarded with complaints on Twitter and Facebook.

“Teen girls don’t support animal cruelty you know — you’ve lost your core market.”

“How embarrassing that such a well-known and popular brand like Sportsgirl are using fur from abused animals on their clothing. I will no longer be shopping here and will make sure none of my friends do either,”

The posts go on and on.. Hundreds of young women and teenage girls angrily attacking the store.

One of the angora jumpers

The source of the fury is the use of Angora fur, from rabbits in China.

PETA have claimed that the rabbits used in the Sportsgirl products undergo horrific torture. Campaign co-ordinator Claire Fryer told News Limited that in China there were no penalties for the abuse of animals on farms and no standards to regulate the treatment of the animals.

“A PETA Asia investigator who visited several angora farms in China — the world’s top producer of angora fur — documented workers violently ripping the fur from the animals’ sensitive skin as they scream in pain,”

“One farmer admitted that about 60 per cent of rabbits who are plucked die within one to two years.”

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A PETA video on YouTube – horrific and difficult to watch-  shows the extreme pain these animals go through.

“It’s a terrifying experience, especially for a prey animal, and the sharp cutting tools inevitably wound them as they struggle desperately to escape,” Claire Fryer told News Limited.

Warning the video – which you can watch below, is very graphic and distressing.

PETA told News Limited that they wrote to Sportgirl’s owners, the Sussan Group, and told them that there is no humane way to source this fur.

“The reality is that suppliers may intentionally mislead their customers.

“There is simply no such thing as humanely produced angora from China.”

Sportsgirl told PETA that they did source from reputable companies in “ethical harvesting situations” saying they sent representatives of the company to witness the “shearing of the rabbits”.

This was not enough however for the hundreds of visitors to their Facebook site who demanded the products be pulled.

Sportsgirl to their credit acted.

In a statement on their Facebook site they announced

“We strongly believe that being fashionable should not impact our customers values.

We support our customer’s opinions and beliefs, and want our customers to feel comfortable coming in to our stores and finding pieces that they won’t only love, but will also feel good about purchasing.

Which is why you won’t find us stocking any items that contain Angora fur as of the 1st of October 2014″

Customers have had a mixed response to their post saying that Sportsgirl needs to act now, rather than October.

The call for the boycott still stands.

We will keep you updated on any further developments.

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