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Group Protests for a Fur Free Auckland

Group Protests for a Fur Free Auckland


By Angela Beswick

Auckland Animal Action has kicked off another season of protests for the Fur Free Auckland campaign, but retailers are not impressed.

Protestors have been rallying in Newmarket over the last two weekends, outside trendy boutiques the activists accuse of stocking factory farmed fur.

Diane Stephenson, General Manager of Modes on Broadway claims the behaviour of the group protesting has been “appalling.”

Protestors gathered in and around the Modes store, over a fur trimmed scarf on display in the store.

Armed with megaphones and placards the group worked their way to the bridal display room, says Stephenson, where two young flower girls were being fitted for a wedding. Stephenson claims the girls were scared and “terrorised”, and had to be taken out back and calmed.

“We are not stockists of fur, and this was one single garment in the entire store” Stephenson says.

“The fur on the scarf was rabbit fur, an animal that in this country is regarded as a pest. It was probably something that one of the casual staff found out back and thought ‘oh this will look pretty with this’”.

A second store in Newmarket that was picketed has since entered into talks with Auckland Animal Action to negotiate removing some fur items from the shop floor.

In a statement on their website, AAA say “we will definitely be back to check that they keep to their side of the deal”.

“And if not, well it's not like we have anything better to do next Saturday.”

Every year more than 40 million fur bearing animals are killed for vanity and profit. The animals are raised on fur farms where they are confined to tiny barren cages completely exposed to the elements.

AAA say it is this intensive confinement that results in the animals commonly suffering obsessive stereotypical behaviours such as pacing, self mutilation and cannibalism. This is due to boredom, frustration and deprivation of their natural instincts such as running, burrowing and playing.

After this miserable existence the animals are killed by anal electrocution, neck breaking, gassing, lethal injection or suffocation. These methods all cause immense pain.

“I am sympathetic with their cause”, says Stephenson of Modes, adding that she herself has done work for animal charity such as the SPCA in the past.

“I do not in any way condone the maltreatment of animals.”

But she feels that the group is doing nothing to endear people to its cause. “If they want to raise awareness for their cause, they need to learn to conduct themselves in an intelligent manner.”

*************

Angela Beswick is a Journalism Student at AUT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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