Nordstrom Under Fire After Undercover Video Shows Russian Fur Horrors

PETA Asia Investigation Finds Chinchillas Electrocuted, Rabbits’ Heads Hacked Off, and Animals Cowering in Fear

For Immediate Release:
December 3, 2019

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

With the holiday shopping season underway, PETA is releasing its first-ever exposé of the Russian fur trade. Video footage shot by PETA Asia eyewitnesses reveals that a worker bashed rabbits with a metal pipe and hacked off their heads while they were still conscious and that workers electrocuted chinchillas and subjected animals to other horrors on five farms. A worker at one facility said that the farm sells skins to Kopenhagen Fur, which describes itself as the world’s largest fur auction house. Another facility investigated by PETA Asia supplied furs to auction house Saga Furs. For decades, PETA and its affiliates have exposed cruelty on fur farms all over the world, and this latest exposé shows that nothing has changed.

In response, PETA is calling on Nordstrom—which sells fur sourced from Russia despite banning fur from its own line years ago—to join Giorgio Armani, Versace, Gucci, Michael Kors, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and dozens of other top designers and retailers in banning fur.

“Shoppers should keep firmly in mind that behind every fur coat, collar, or cuff is a filthy wire cage, a shrieking animal, and a blood-soaked slaughterhouse floor,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “This holiday season, PETA is urging Nordstrom to give some peace to these tormented animals by joining the majority of the fashion world in going fur-free.”

Some rabbits were still alive and twitching when a worker decapitated them, splashing the floor with their blood and tossing their heads into baskets full of others’ heads—all while other rabbits watched, trembling in terror. One worker failed to place the electrodes on a chinchilla correctly, and the animal shrieked, twitched, and convulsed for over a minute before finally becoming still. Then, the worker broke the animal’s neck.

Animals were kept in dirty, wire-mesh cages. Some cages were exposed to the elements, while others were enclosed in dark rooms. Minks and sables paced incessantly—a sign of psychological distress—while a fox with nowhere to hide cowered in fear. One chinchilla appeared to be blind but was still forced to breed. And a worker explained that if the animals relieve themselves in the “wrong” part of the cage, they’re killed. “Any animal must be clean,” he said. “If you produce not clean skin, you’re losing a lot of price.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, which is the human-supremacist worldview that other animals are nothing more than commodities to use and kill at will.

Photos and broadcast-quality video footage are available upon request. For more information, please visit or click here.

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