Retailers slammed by Humane Society for selling real fur as fake

It’s a faux fur fake-out.

Two online retailers, Boohoo and Zacharia Jewellers, have been called out in separate rulings for promoting pompom sweaters and headbands featuring fake fur — when in fact it was real, likely rabbit.

“Consumers should be able to trust the ads they see and hear — and they certainly shouldn’t be misled into buying a faux fur product in good conscience only for it to turn out to be from a real animal,” Miles Lockwood, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority’s director of complaints, told The Guardian. “That’s not just misleading; it can also be deeply upsetting.”

Real fur products being advertised as fake is a widespread issue in the UK that animal activist group the Humane Society International has been cracking down on. It spotted the mislabeled fluffballs in September and sent samples out for lab testing, which confirmed they were far from fake.

Both Boohoo and Zacharia have since ceased sale of the fur products — a sweater and a headband, respectively.

“We have a strong commitment against the sale of real fur in any of our products. We have robust policies and procedures in place to ensure that we are able to adhere to this,” Boohoo reps said in a statement. “Following the inquiry by HSI the item has been removed from sale. We continue to investigate the matter internally and with the supplier in question, as a matter of priority.”

Zacharia, meanwhile, blamed its Chinese manufacturer for the mix-up and pulled its listing from Amazon.

“It’s completely unacceptable that compassionate consumers setting out to buy fake fur are being misled into buying animal fur,” Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International, tells the BBC. “These two examples are the latest in a long list of ‘fake faux fur’ items we’ve found for sale, so we hope that the ASA’s rulings will send a strong message to the industry and make retailers work harder to give consumers confidence in avoiding cruel animal fur.”

Florida election official Brenda Snipes’ constitutional rights violated when she was suspended, judge rules

Former Broward County elections supervisor Brenda Snipes may be getting redeemed, as a Florida federal judge ruled Wednesday that former Gov. and current Sen. Rick Scott violated her constitutional rights when he suspended and “vilified” her without first allowing her to make her own case.

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said newly inaugurated Gov. Ron DeSantis must grant Snipes a “meaningful opportunity to be heard” regarding her suspension by March 31.

Snipes came under fire during the contentious recount that followed the 2018 elections and a legally required recount in close races for governor and U.S. Senate.

In the aftermath of the November election, Snipes said she would resign on Jan. 4, but Scott immediately suspended her. Snipes then tried to rescind her resignation and challenged the governor’s suspension as “malicious” and politically motivated.

Walker ruled that Scott’s decision was an “effective termination” and violated Snipes’ due-process rights. The judge also said Scott’s order suspending Snipes contained “falsehoods.”

Still, Walker said he did not have the authority to reinstate Snipes, writing that the court was “not determining what the ultimate outcome will or should be.”

Snipes sued both Scott and the GOP-controlled Florida Senate. The lawsuit named the Senate because that chamber’s Republican leader said there wasn’t time to investigate the allegations against Snipes before her resignation took effect. Florida law requires the Senate to either remove or reinstate county officials suspended by the governor.

Snipes had been the top elections official in Broward County since 2003, when then-Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her. She had been elected three times and her current term was not scheduled to end until 2020.

Attorneys for Scott had argued the governor had the authority to remove her from office. Neither Scott nor DeSantis immediately responded to requests for comment on the decision.

Scott suspended Snipes for misfeasance, incompetence and neglect of duty, and appointed his former general counsel to take her place. In his executive order, Scott cited problems during the recount, including reports of more than 2,000 ballots being misplaced.

Snipes’ attorney, Burnadette Norris-Weeks, contended that some of the problems cited by Scott were not caused by her client.

Daniel Nordby, who has been Scott’s general counsel, said the governor took action when he did because he “determined the people of Broward County deserved a supervisor of elections” who could prepare for upcoming spring municipal elections in a “competent manner.”