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Humane Society urges Kohl's department stores to go fur-free

The Humane Society of the United States and Dr. Jana Kohl, granddaughter of the founder of the Wisconsin-based Kohl’s, want the department store to go fur-free.

Their proposal has been filed in the form of a shareholder resolution that asks Kohl’s to adopt a policy stating that the company plans to cease animal fur sales.

“In the last two years, Kohl’s has made a number of vague and confusing statements to customers and shareholders pertaining to its sales of animal fur,” P.J. Smith, corporate outreach manager of the fur-free campaign for the HSUS said in a news release. “The Humane Society of the United States is asking Kohl’s to be consistent with its statements about animal fur and move away from an unnecessary and inhumane product, especially because so many faux fur alternatives are available.”

The release said Kohl’s has sent its customers and shareholders confusing statements about fur sales in recent years, including:

• “We do not intend on discontinuing our minimal use of fur.

• “We typically do not carry merchandise made of animal fur.”

• “We carry a minimal amount of merchandise using fur; however, occasional seasonal items use fur accents.”

Jana Kohl, in a statement, said, “It brings me great sadness that my family name is now associated with the fur business, an industry marked by such barbaric cruelty against animals that it's nothing short of legalized torture. I call on Kohl's to be a corporate leader, showing concern for the environment, social responsibility and humane practices. I urge them to set an example for other corporations to begin to repair our world before it's too late.”

Many retailers, designers and brands – more than 300 operating in the United States – already have agreed to stop the sale of animal fur products because of inhumane treatment of animals. Companies on the organization’s fur-free list include JCPenney, Forever 21, Liz Claiborne, Urban Outfitters, Gap, J. Crew, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein.

Foxes, rabbits, raccoon dogs, domestic dogs and cats, mink and cotes are killed by the fur trade, which also is linked to pollution and the accidental taking of endangered species, according to the Humane Society.

Kohl's Corporation is headquartered in Menomonee Falls.

The company does not have a strong national reputation on LGBT issues, earning only a 15 out of 100 on the Buying for Equality guide from the Human Rights Campaign.

Did you know…

The United States bans the sale of dog and cat fur, but recent investigations found that dog fur is still slipping into the country on unlabeled and falsely advertised jackets, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

On the Web…

humanesociety.org/furfree

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