MISINFORMATION – Real UGG boots made of raccoon dog skin
Our readers have recently suggested us to investigate over a case of presumed animal cruelty. The “culprit” is UGG, a renowned manufacturer from Australia, guilty of using raccoon dog skin for the boots on sale.
I shall not indulge in showing the imagery that was sent to us for reasons of decency, the pictures being outright graphic and disturbing. I would like to cut the chase and state out that this is an outrageous misinformation at its best.
The original UGG boots aren’t made out of raccoon dog skins. Matter of fact, the actual cases of animal cruelty concern the production and selling of counterfeit boots – NOT the originals.
As reported by The Sun – here quoted by The Huffington Post, “[a] shocking video has surfaced which shows raccoon dogs being skinned for the purpose of making fake Ugg boots“.
The Chinese-bred animals are used for their soft fur, which substitutes for the Australian sheepskin used in authentic Uggs. Fake Uggs go for just a fraction of the price, but those who have opted for the replicas may change their mind after seeing the ugly truth about the fuzzy fur that’s keeping their feet warm. (HuffPost)
For the sake of truth, it should be noted that UGG boots actually use sheepskin in accordance with the applicable regulations, to guarantee the reduction of animal suffering. Unfortunately, the will of good man cannot always counter the terrible effects of counterfeit products in the market, as stated by Lena McDonald, General Manager of UGG Australia.
[T]he use of the raccoon dog fur by other brands was tarnishing the entire ugg boot industry as many people had trouble differentiating between different brands. Ms McDonald said her company used its own local tannery to ensure the quality and standards of its boots, but added there were anywhere between 30 – 40 products using the word “ugg” but that many were not made in Australia and used overseas materials including fur.
“As 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,” she said. “Labelling laws in Australia are a little bit grey and we have seen companies cutting off tags saying ‘made in China’ and the Australian made tag put on it.”
DailyMail reporter Charlotte Kemp explicitly affirms that
[W]hile the genuine boots made by UGG Australia use only sheepskin produced in a humane way, there is no such guarantee with the lookalikes
[d]espite a crackdown on fraudulent websites selling cut-price UGGs, the internet remains a huge marketplace for counterfeit boots, with rogue traders going to great lengths to make sites look as legitimate as possible. Many are registering domain names with .co.uk at the end and use photography copied from the official UGG Australia site.
For more information about her researches, read more here.
Bottomline, if you love UGG boots, keep buying and supporting the originals from authorized dealers.