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It a trend that provokes mockery, yet persists due to its unrivaled comfort. But now boots or more specifically, knockoffs of the classic UGG Australia brand are coming under fire for the inhumane treatment of Chinese raccoon dogs.

If you wondering what raccoon dogs (otherwise known as Asiatic raccoons) have to do with boots that are traditionally fashioned from Australian sheepskin, that exactly the point. According to an investigation by the Humane Society International, many brands of Ugg boots have instead been using raccoon dogs fur which is notoriously acquired under horrendous circumstances and falsely labeling it as Australian sheepskin.

In a graphic video that was obtained by the Swiss Animal Protection, workers at a Chinese fur farm are shown brutally abusing raccoon dogs knocking them to the ground and holding them down with their boots, skinning them alive and throwing their bloody bodies into a pile, where they left to experience a slow and painful death.

(MORE: A Legal Assault on Animal Abuse Whistle Blowers?)

The shocking video has animal rights advocates around the world calling for a ban on imported products that contain the fur. In Australia and the European Union, where this revelation has sparked a debate on international trade, it is illegal to import products that contain fur from domestic dogs and cats, as well as from animals that are endangered. But because the Asiatic raccoon doesn fall into these categories the species is related to foxes, jackals and domestic dogs, but not raccoons it is technically not forbidden. This isn the first time that raccoon dog fur has been found in clothing stateside. In fact, a 2008 Humane Society report found that 70% of falsely advertised or mislabeled fur trimmed jackets contained fur from the raccoon dog, despite knowledge of the inhumane treatment of the animals.

To safeguard against this type of consumer misinformation, Congress passed The Truth in Fur Labeling Act in 2010, which requires all garments made with fur to be labeled with the correct species of animal. The legislation took effect in March 2011, and has so far been hailed by animal rights advocates.

(MORE: West Hollywood Sets a New Trend: Banning Fur Sales)

far as I can see many of these boots are not made in Australia at all, yet they have the word Australia and Ugg on them, McDonald said. laws in Australia are a little bit gray, and we have seen companies cutting off tags saying in China and the Australian made tag put on it. it doesn appear that Australia will crack down on this situation anytime soon, animal advocates are encouraging consumers to take matters into their own hands and be aware of the products they purchasing. Because whether the boots are fashionable or a faux pas, animal abuse is never in style.
bank ugg boots Chinese Raccoon Dogs Skinned Alive for Knockoff Ugg Boots