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Corrie's Kate urging fur boycott
20 September 2005

Coronation Street actress, Kate Ford, has become the latest top celebrity to pledge support for an end to animal cruelty. Kate, who plays Tracy Barlow on the popular soap, has posed for a striking anti-fur advert.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals display shows Kate holding a white rabbit alongside the slogan “Try telling him it’s just a bit of fur trim”.

"I play a pretty cold-hearted character in Coronation Street," commented Kate, "but I can't think of anything more cruel or cold-hearted than killing animals for their fur."

"After spending some time with this live bunny, it is even more amazing to me that people will kill these sensitive and sweet animals for profit," she added.

Behind the glamour of the ad campaign lies the deplorable reality of fur farming. Rabbits are just one of several species cruelly caged and killed for their fur every year. Kept in small, filthy, wire cages, they are denied the freedom to dig, jump or play. When their miserable lives are brought to an end, it is done in a heartless and inhumane way.

Fur farm workers break the animals’ necks or beat in their skulls before hanging them by the legs and chopping off their heads. The aim is to kill without damaging the precious fur.

To Ireland's shame, fur farming remains legal here with tens of thousands of foxes, mink and rabbits caged. Methods of killing the animals include electrocution (electrodes are placed in the anus and mouth), strangulation and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Believe it or not, this depraved business has been defended by Agriculture Minister Mary Coughlan as “a legitimate farming activity”.

Sadly, a bill proposed by Green Party TD, Dan Boyle, earlier this year, was voted down by a majority of TDs (mostly Fianna Fail and PDs).

The bill would have phased out fur farming here as has been done in Northern Ireland, the UK, Austria and other countries.

While the PETA campaign is urging a boycott of all fur products, it makes particular reference to products containing fur which is supposedly a by-product of the rabbit-meat industry.

This claim is strongly disputed by the group. It points out that the rabbit fur industry demands the thicker pelts of older rabbits rather than fur from younger rabbits killed for meat.

Also highlighted is the exportation from Asia of cat and dog fur. Often mislabelled as rabbit fur, it has appeared in EU stores as full length coats, homeopathic arthritis aids, toy cat figurines, hair bows for children, trim on sweaters and linings for boots and gloves.

The slaughter of cats and dogs for this grisly trade was exposed in a TG4 programme in 2003. Its harrowing scenes of animal cruelty left viewers shocked.

ICABS joins PETA in asking Irish consumers to please avoid purchasing any kind of fur, regardless of the source.

Alternatives to consider are soft acrylics, brushed cotton and faux fur.

To read about other anti-fur celebs, please click on the “Famous Fur Foes” link at:

Kate Ford
Compassionate Kate: “I can't think of anything more cruel than killing animals for their fur."

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