Fur flies as Cambridge Councillor backs animal rights protesters

27 February 2011

Green Party Councillor Adam Pogonowski has called for Cambridge City Council to ban the sale of fur on Cambridge City Council property. Pogonowski, a 24-year-old Cambridge graduate, said “I strongly support this campaign to persuade Cambridge City Council to ban the selling of animal fur. The trade in fur is a brutal and cruel process’. His statement was in support of a petition by Animal Rights Cambridge, the longest-standing animal rights group in the UK.

Pogonowski’s support is the latest success in their campaign to make Camrbidge fur-free, and follows the closure of the popular King Street second-hand clothing and fur retailer Mook Vintage in January.

ARC described Mook Vintage as a ‘dubious outfit’ and said that ‘if the business re-opens in Cambridge it will be the target of continued protest’.

Mook’s closure came as a surprise to students, who made up a large part of its clientele.  Local businessman Trevor Nicholls told TCS that his decision to close the shop ‘had absolutely nothing to do with the fur activists’ and was ‘purely down to the financial side of things’.

Nicholls defended the sale of vintage fur: ‘like all vintage clothes it’s recycled therefore an environmentally friendly product’ and expressed his concerns about ‘much greater and more genuine problems with animal rights in the world today, with many species facing extinction through loss of habitat, poaching and overfishing’.

However, Animal Rights Cambridge spokesperson Aran Mathai feels that all fur, ‘whether it be mislabelled cat or dog from China, raccoon or mink from the US, new fur items or vintage…all perpetuate this symbol of selfish cruelty’.

After Mook’s closure there is now only one remaining trader selling fur in Cambridge. Although ARC’s own website encourages lawful and peaceful protests, one Indymedia commenter stated ‘we will get rid of these scum. We know where they live, will fight them by any means necessary.’

Zoah Hedges-Stocks – Editor

Photo: Helen Simpkiss