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Neiman's agrees to fine in fur case

Feb. 2, 2010 at 2:56 PM

DALLAS, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. retailer Neiman Marcus has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine for advertising "faux fur" on coats trimmed in Asian raccoon dog, authorities said.

The retailer agreed to the fine after a Washington court ruled Neiman Marcus, which has its headquarters in Dallas, violated consumer protection laws, The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday.

The U.S. Humane Society sued Neiman Marcus, Saks Inc., Macy's Inc., Lord & Taylor and Andrew Marc in 2008 after it found raccoon dog fur advertised as fake fur on coat trim in stores.

"Consumers were fooled by those ads. Now by virtue of this lawsuit, they'll know what the coat contains," Humane Society lawyer Ralph Henry said.

The judgment against Neiman Marcus, which had no comment Monday, needs final court approval.

Saks last week settled by agreeing to stricter labeling and to support pending congressional bills that would ban the sale of fur-trimmed coats without labeling, Henry said.

Saks also was to pay $5,600 to cover the Humane Society's court costs, Henry said, noting Macy's remains a defendant in the case. In settlements last year, Andrew Marc and Lord & Taylor agreed to stricter labeling and to stop using raccoon dog fur.

Raccoon dogs are wild members of the canine family, which includes foxes, wolves and dogs. Raccoon dogs are named for their resemblance to raccoons but are not closely related.

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