Anger over sale of rabbit fur
A GIFT store has been singled out by animal rights activists for stocking an imported poncho made of fur, suspected to be from rabbits.
Cornubia resident Linda McCarthy, a member of Coast to Coast Animal Friends, said she was shocked and horrified when she first spotted the velvety, dark-brown garment hanging in Ideas gift store at the Hyperdome a week ago.
A sales assistant, at the new shop, was unaware the garment was animal fur.
But a quick check of the label showed it was 100 per cent "fur" with the backing lining 100 per cent acrylic.
In a bid to find out what type of fur, the sales assistant rang the store's Toombul branch and was told it was likely to be rabbit fur from China.
Shop owner Jim Doyle said he did not import the fur poncho and bought it from Reed Exhibitions at a trade fair in Melbourne four weeks ago after being assured it had cleared customs.
"This has got nothing to do with us," he said. "We don't import (those products) and rabbits are vermin in some parts of the world anyway.
"You can't bring anything into this country unless it has been checked."
Mr Doyle said he would not stock similar fur garments next winter.
Ms McCarthy said she was disgusted and her group had started a petition and planned a protest outside the shop.
"I was horrified and expressed my shock that a shop in my local shopping centre would sell a product made from fur farms in China," Ms McCarthy said.
"The fur trade is barbaric. Our organisation knows that in some parts of China cats, rabbits, minks and dogs are all kept in tiny, outside cages until their agonising deaths.
"Many are killed by a probe inserted into their anus or vagina and electrocuted. Many are skinned alive, which is why I refuse to accept a local shop is profiting from the suffering of defenceless animals."
Police officers from the Hyperdome Police Beat were called when Ms McCarthy stopped three shoppers outside the store to tell them about the China fur trade.