Sidmouth shop owner targeted by anti-fur protestors defends her business

Mark Gold, Martin Fox, Jan Strassen and Sharon Howe of Exeter Friends For Animals make a protest in

Mark Gold, Martin Fox, Jan Strassen and Sharon Howe of Exeter Friends For Animals make a protest in Sidmouth against the use of animal fur in the fashion industry. Ref shs 10-16AW 0311. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A Sidmouth fashion shop owner, who was this week targeted by protestors, has defended selling vintage furs and said she is ‘totally against’ animal cruelty.

Sharon Howe of Exeter Friends For Animals makes a protest in Sidmouth against the use of animal fur

Sharon Howe of Exeter Friends For Animals makes a protest in Sidmouth against the use of animal fur in the fashion industry. Ref shs 10-16AW 0314. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Exeter Friends for Animals (EFFA) staged a demonstration outside Louise’s Dress Agency on Tuesday to urge shoppers to boycott any fur products.

In response to the protest, dress agency owner Louise McCullin said: “All the items belong to the elderly of Sidmouth. We are recycling them. We don’t sell new furs. We are totally against animal cruelty.”

The shop sells vintage items on their owners’ behalf, with the proceeds shared. Mrs McCullin said she does not advertise the furs, or put them online. She added that their sale encourages the purchase of existing furs - rather than creating the demand for new ones.

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The EFFA says there is a new market in China, which ‘routinely’ skins animals alive – and even domestic cats and dogs are killed for their furs.

Campaigner Martin Fox said: “Whether the animal died 50 years ago or last week is hardly relevant.

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“Wearing it sends a message that it is ethically acceptable to wear fur and thereby perpetuating the industry.”

Rather than see it sold, the Exeter group would prefer fur is sent to animal sanctuaries for use as bedding. Eventually, it hopes to make Devon fur-free.

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