Despite continued pressure, New Zealand designer Annah Stretton refuses to renounce possum fur.
PETA activists took the message straight to the designer’s doorstep, when they staged an eye-catching protest outside her Christchurch store and declared, “Compassion Is Always in Fashion”.
Increasing numbers of designers – including top brands such as Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein – have already gone completely fur-free. However, Stretton continues to use the cruelly produced material in her collections.
Possums receive very little protection under current animal-welfare legislation, and the New Zealand Department of Conservation has admitted that killing these animals does not ultimately benefit the environment.
Rather than killing animals for a tacky look that most fashionable consumers wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, we need to be looking at other methods of controlling possum populations, such as immuno-contraceptives.
Animals used for their fur suffer terribly, whether they are imprisoned for their entire lives inside cramped and filthy wire cages on fur farms or killed via poison or trapping. Those poisoned by 1080 and other toxins endure symptoms such as vomiting, convulsions, and tremors before they finally die.
And animals caught in traps attempt to chew their limbs off to escape and – if they don’t die from blood loss, infection, or gangrene – are strangled, battered, or stamped to death.