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L&T to Bar Raccoon Dog Fur

Lord & Taylor has agreed to toughen standards in its advertising and labeling of fur garments as part of a settlement with the Humane Society.

WASHINGTON — Lord & Taylor has agreed to ban raccoon dog fur from stores and to toughen standards in its advertising and labeling of fur garments as part of a settlement with the Humane Society of the U.S.

This story first appeared in the December 3, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Humane Society filed a lawsuit in Superior Court here in November 2008 under the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act, accusing L&T and other retailers, as well as outerwear firm Andrew Marc, of false advertising and mislabeling of fur garments.

The initial complaint alleged that the defendants sold garments labeled as “faux fur” or as raccoon, coyote or rabbit fur that were actually made of raccoon dog fur. Raccoon dog fur is the mostly commonly misrepresented type of fur and is often mislabeled as “faux” or attributed to another animal, the Humane Society said, adding that raccoon dogs are a canine species that are often skinned alive for their pelts.

Along with the ban, the retailer agreed to ensure that any garment containing fur is properly labeled and to create and distribute training materials about fur labeling requirements to its buyers, according to the settlement agreement.

“Lord & Taylor has taken a major step forward by ending the sale of raccoon dog fur and by voluntarily strengthening its labeling standards for all fur products,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation for the Humane Society.

L&T did not respond to a request for comment.

Litigation against other major retailers, including Macy’s Inc., Neiman Marcus Group and Saks Inc., is pending and is scheduled to go to trial next year, the Humane Society said. Andrew Marc, which was acquired by G-III Apparel Group in 2008, settled its part of the lawsuit in March and agreed to phase out use of raccoon dog fur in its Andrew Marc and Marc New York lines and to change its labeling.