Rabbit-shaped bag charms that have been gaining popularity in Singapore are made of real fur, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said.
In a Facebook post on Monday (Jul 25), SPCA detailed the results of its in-house tests on the "rabbit bag chains" and concluded that the fur was authentic based on its feel, its look and smell after it is burnt, and a microscopic examination.
SPCA's executive director Jaipal Singh Gill told Channel NewsAsia the tests have “strongly suggested” that the product is made of real animal fur. “We are, however, unable to determine the species of animal from which the fur came from,” he said.
The organisation was first alerted in early July by concerned members of the public who had seen the product being sold at retail shops in Singapore. “We visited some of the shops to verify the information provided to us and we found multiple shops and stalls selling identical-looking products,” Dr Singh said. “As there was conflicting information provided by the sellers, with some claiming that the fur was fake while others stating that it was real, we decided to conduct our own in-house tests.”
The sample that was tested by SPCA came from a shop in Bugis. According to SPCA, there are shops selling similar products in Bugis+, Bugis Village and Bugis Junction. Members of the public have also informed SPCA that the product is sold in places such as Far East Plaza, Sun Plaza, SCAPE and by various online retailers.
While fur products as a whole are not banned for sale in Singapore, SPCA said “fur is often obtained with much animal suffering and in Singapore, there is simply no excuse to wear fur, even as an accessory”.
The Agri Food and Veterinary Authority website indicates that import permits are not required for finished animal products from non-Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) species.
“Exercise your right as a consumer to refuse this symbol of excessive cruelty,” SPCA wrote on its Facebook page. “The most important thing any of us can do is to not buy these products and to encourage our friends and family to do the same.”
Meanwhile, SPCA said it will actively raise awareness on the issue to get more people to support the idea. “We are also reaching out to the sellers to encourage them to not bring in products made from real animal fur,” it added. “If the buying stops, the suffering will too.”