PETA campaigners plan list of retailers yet to commit to angora ban

Animal rights charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is planning to release a list of retailers that have yet to commit to a permanent ban on selling angora products.

Angora wool: rabbits mistreated in China
Angora wool: rabbits mistreated in China

PETA has been urging retailers to take the product off sale after its investigators filmed instances of cruelty to rabbits in the production of the wool at a farm in China. It released a video showing rabbits being kept in cramped cages and having their fur painfully plucked.

This prompted a number of retailers to suspend sales, including Marks & Spencer, Topshop, H&M, Primark and Next.

Asos became the first retailer to commit to a permanent ban last Thursday (12 December). It said it was removing all Asos and third-party branded products failing to meet its policy, offering a refund to all customers for angora purchases already made and would be angora-free by the end of 2013.

PETA campaigner Yvonne Taylor said PETA was currently talking to other retailers to encourage them to follow the example set by Asos and was planning to go public with the names of those who did not follow suit.

"We will be looking to produce a list of companies who haven't committed to a ban," she said.

"We are contacting retailers to make sure they are aware of the public reaction to this. Animal welfare is extremely important to the demographic targeted by these companies and they realise how damaging it can be to be associated with animal cruelty. There are already alternatives on the market and Asos has set a great example."

According to PETA 90 per cent of angora is produced in China.

A Marks & Spencer spokesman said the company was using Twitter and Facebook to communicate its response to customers. 

Its position is that while it understands PETA's concerns it believes its animal welfare policy is being adhered to across the angora farms from which it sources. It is carrying out additional visits to the farms to make sure, and will not place any further orders until the findings have been reviewed.

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