Thursday, April 26, 2007

Newbury Comics Bows to PETA Pressure, Goes Fur-Free

Popular Record Chain Pulls Rabbit Fur From Its Stores Hours After Group Posts Online Action Alert

Just hours after PETA posted an action alert on its heavily trafficked youth Web site,, asking visitors to contact Newbury Comics and urge the company to stop selling cat and dog figurines made from rabbit fur, the store removed the figurines from its shelves. Newbury didn't respond to PETA's repeated calls about the items over the past year, but shortly after PETA posted the action alert on April 16, the company announced that all stock had been removed from its stores.

Newberry founder and co-owner Mike Dreese, in response to one of the hundreds of e-mails generated by the action alert, said, "The last few dozen leftover, unsold pieces were removed from our stores yesterday. Thanks for your concern and opinion. It was shared by many on staff …." Dreese confirmed the move in a phone call to PETA later that day. Brighton, Mass.-based Newbury Comics is a youth-oriented record chain that sells CDs, DVDs, and novelties and operates 27 stores in five New England states. The company's total annual sales are approximately $78 million.

Why all the fuss over a few furry figurines? Rabbits on fur farms are confined to tiny, filthy cages and never have the chance to touch the ground. They are killed by having their necks broken or their skulls smashed before they are hung upside-down and decapitated. Much of the rabbit fur used to make products sold in the U.S. comes from China—the world's leading fur exporter—where not a single law protects animals on fur farms.

"The way that rabbits and other animals are killed for fur is nothing that any reputable business would want to be associated with," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "We commend Newbury Comics for ridding its stores of fur and refusing to support one of the cruelest industries on the planet."

For more information, please visit PETA's Web site

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