A couple of fashion brands are striking back at an animal-rights group that claimed the firms used rabbit fur farms where widespread abuse allegedly took place.
Last week, Last Chance for Animals claimed that a two-year investigation of 70 rabbit farms in Spain resulted in reports of farm workers “callously bashing sick rabbits to death” and “crippled, diseased and severely wounded rabbits left to suffer with no medical treatment,” among other things. The group claimed there is evidence linking Marc Jacobs, Diane von Furstenberg, Burberry, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton with animal cruelty at some of those locations.
A Dior spokeswoman said, “The House of Dior has never had any dealings with the company involved in these facts. The House of Dior is deeply shocked by the documented images, which are against our values and practices. The House of Dior emphasizes that all of its products made of fur fully respect the EU guidelines.”
The investigation into the fur farms was a joint effort by LCA and the animal rights organization Animal Equality. The two groups said that with the use of hidden cameras Francisco Cuberes Escola, owner of the fur distributor Curticub, and Lidia Nogue, an affiliate of the fur distributor Galaico Catalana, stated that the aforementioned designers have allegedly bought fur from the farms that were investigated.
A Saint Laurent spokeswoman said Tuesday, “Following in-depth investigations, we can confirm that Saint Laurent is not connected in any way, either directly or indirectly, to Curticub.”
The company’s teams are “continuously working to find ways to ensure high standards of animal welfare.” she said. “In line with its sustainability commitment, Saint Laurent has developed specific ‘Fur Guidelines,’ which are systematically distributed to direct suppliers.”
A Burberry spokesman also debunked the allegations. “Burberry has no relationship with the farms featured and we are sure that Curticub is not part of our supply chain,” he said. “Burberry strongly condemns the practices shown in the footage which demonstrates cruel and illegal behavior. Burberry sources all natural raw materials very carefully in our efforts to safeguard the correct ethical standards in line with our Ethical Trading policy. Burberry will not use fur if there is concern that its production has involved the unacceptable treatment of animals.”
Representatives for Jacobs, von Furstenberg and Louis Vuitton declined comment.
LCA and Animal Equality have created a Web site to try to substantiate their claims, and have posted an online petition to send to the respective fashion companies asking them to stop selling fur. Now that their efforts have been made public, the animal activist groups are asking the named fashion companies “to maintain their integrity and not have any dealings with these fur farms. Ultimately we would like to see them phase out fur as a garment,” an LCA spokesman said Monday.