Washington— Friday, March 18, marks the first day that all garments, including accessories, that contain animal fur—no matter what quantity or price—must identity the type of fur, origin, etc. on their labels.
The Truth in Fur Labeling Act, signed into law in December 2010closes a loophole in the six-decade-old federal fur labeling law that previously allowed many animal fur garments and accessories to go unlabeled if the value of the fur was $150 or less. Besides applying to fur trim on outerwear and apparel, the new fur label law also covers all accessories categories except handbags. The law requires fur manufacturers and retailers to label fur products with certain information, such as the animal’s name, the name of the manufacturer, and the country of origin.
New Rule Includes All Accessories Categories, Except Handbags
The Federal Trade Commission announced that garments received by retailers prior to Friday, March 18, will not be the subject of enforcement action for one year, giving retailers the opportunity to cycle through pre-existing inventory. However, the FTC recommends that these garments have a label or hangtag voluntarily added by the retailer that indicates the presence of real fur. The FTC will enforce the new labeling requirements immediately with respect to all garments received by retailers after March 18.
Supported by animal right groups, approved by a bipartisan Congressional vote and signed into law by President Obama, the new fur label law ends years of unlabeled animal fur duping consumers who thought they were buying fake fur.
Over the past several years, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) investigations have found scores of jackets trimmed with animal fur being sold at many major retailers across the country without labels or falsely advertised as “faux fur.” Raccoon dog fur was the most commonly unlabeled, falsely advertised, and misrepresented species found being sold.
“Consumers who choose to avoid animal fur can now shop with more confidence, knowing that the law requires fur-trimmed garments to be labeled,” said Michael Markarian, HSUS’ ceo. “We look forward to working with retailers and designers to make sure shoppers are getting the information they need to make informed purchasing decisions in the marketplace.”
FTC Seeks Public Comments on Fur Rules
In addition, The FTC is seeking public comments for its Fur Labeling and Advertising Rules—commonly known as the “Fur Rules”—as part of a periodic review and to comply with the Truth in Fur Labeling Act’s requirement to review of the Fur Products Name Guide, which lists the animal names to be used on fur product labels. Comments/suggestions about the Fur Rules can be made until May 16. Instructions on submitting written comments can be found in the Federal Register notice. (Comments may be submitted electronically by clicking here.)