Independent laboratory testing recently confirmed that accessories sold on Kohls.com as "faux fur" were actually made with real rabbit fur, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
The nonprofit, on Dec. 2, issued a consumer warning about the products, which apparently were no longer available on the retailer's website on Dec. 3.
Investigators with the Humane Society found that several styles of Nicole Lee Fabiola brand handbags, which were advertised as having “faux-fur” trimming on Kohls.com in October and November, were trimmed with animal fur. Lab testing determined the fur to be from a rabbit.
HSUS says that selling animal fur as “faux fur” on a handbag is a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. That law prohibits “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in commerce and carries a civil penalty of up to $16,000 per violation.
Pierre Grzybowski, of the Fur-Free Campaign of The HSUS, said in a statement to the press, "Consumers should be aware that animal fur is still being sold as ‘faux’ by major retailers — in this case Kohl’s. We’re calling on Kohl’s to adopt a fur-free policy and more robust quality control program, and urging consumers to learn how to tell animal fur from fake fur so they can shop with confidence."
According to the HSUS, more than 75 million animals, including rabbits, raccoon dogs, mink, bobcats, foxes and even domestic dogs and cats, are killed annually to make unnecessary fur products.
In August, the FTC issued took enforcement action against Neiman Marcus, Revolveclothing.com and Drjays.com in response to 2011 petition from the HSUS alleging the selling of animal fur as "faux."
Also, in March, an investigation by the Humane Society found that the Century 21 store in New York was selling a Marc Jacobs jacket as having "faux fur" but it had raccoon dog fur.
The Truth in Fur Labeling Act, signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama, amended the Fur Products Labeling Act, closing a loophole that had allowed many fur-trimmed garments to go unlabeled if the value of the animal fur material was $150 or less.