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Blog about animals
Selected the best cow in Germany
Fishing ban proposed near Rockall after rare scientific finds
Life and death on the riverbank
Baboon shot dead after escaping from Knowsley Safari Park
Birdwatch: Peregrine falcon
Iceland's fin whales are endangered. Stop this bloody cull
The pitfalls of elderly dog insurance
Valley where Edward Carpenter, gay rights campaigner and socialist, walked
Green groups warn government of national parks hunting backlash
Demand for ivory destabilising central Africa
Dog walker found neighbour trampled by cows, inquest hears
Cat stands for election in Mexican city
I hear some hip cat's running for mayor in Mexico. That gives me an idea
Wader chick fever grips birds and spotters alike
Philippines destroys five tonnes of elephant tusks
The Dwyfor is surely one of the loveliest of Welsh rivers
New to nature No 107: Typhochlaena costae
How to beat the midges this summer
Controversial herring gull cull gets green light
Whaling's day in court is a sea change for conservation
Australia censures Japan for 'scientific' whaling
The young red deer stags were on their hind legs boxing, just like hares
Our garden's blackbirds started their nest-building early this year
UK wildlife and nature hit hard by erratic weather
  England's ceremonial mayors eschew fur to support animal rights
Animal fur may remain fashionable on catwalks, but lord mayors and other senior council figures in England have been happy to eschew haute couture by dropping its use or going faux.

A check in the wardrobes of civic leaders has revealed eight do not have robes with fur, five use clothing with synthethic fur, and other authorities are reviewing their practice.

The survey of 23 lord mayors was carried out by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta), which is still awaiting answers from some, including Roger Gifford of London.

Peta's associate director Mimi Bekhechi said: "It's important that public figures set a positive example, and by saying no to fur, these mayors have made it clear that animals deserve respect.

"Animals raised for fur suffer every day of their lives before they endure a painful and terrifying death."

The office of the lord mayor of Plymouth, Vivien Pengelly, said she had two sets of robes. "The black and gold robes, which are used for major civic or ceremonial events do not have any fur. The red robes are due to be refurbished and will be embellished with a fake fur band".

Officials in York said: "We are in possession of a number of older ceremonial robes worn by the sheriff of York and honorary aldermen, which do have some very old fur trim. However, the sheriff's robe is due to go for refurbishment, and the fur trim will be replaced with a synthetic fur, as is our policy.

"In addition, last year we acquired a new ceremonial cap of maintenance which is worn by our sword bearer This was a brand new commission and was made with synthetic fur. Any future purchases and refurbishment of old robes and ceremonial wear will continue in this way, as we support animal rights fully."

In Hull, the lord mayor's red robe is trimmed only with gold braid, Peta was told, but six older red robes worn rarely by other senior council members were trimmed by fur. "We are unable to replace these at the present time as we have no funds available, but if and when we do, will certainly consider using faux fur," a council official said.

The survey came after the mayor of Wrexham, David Bithell, neither a "lord" nor in England, abandoned his gown with muskrat after being questioned by a Peta supporter.

Peta said most Britons opposed real fur. "So strong is our moral objection to cruelly killing animals for their skin that parliament passed an act banning fur-farming more than a decade ago. If council leaders wear fur-trimmed robes, it not only goes against British values but also diminishes the meaning of the ban."

Some designers, such as Stella McCartney, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, do not use fur but the British Fur Trade Association (BFTA) said 400 worldwide did. "Those who include fur, which is over 75% of all major fashion brands, do so because it enhances their business." Such designers were "more than satisfied" by the welfare standards of the industry.

BFTA's members trade more than £1bn worth of animal fur a year, including with China, Hong Kong, Russia and other EU countries, while UK retail fur sales have increased by 30% year on year. Global sales for 2011-2012 totalled US $15.6bn (£10.2bn), according to the International Fur Trade Federation.
'Wild' animals in travelling circuses benefit no one
The intoxicated world of the spotted flycatcher
Fishing quotas can be redistributed to favour smaller vessels high court
Madagascar battling worst locust plague since 1950s
A broody sparrow meets his match
Climate change is happening too quickly for species to adapt
The weird and wonderful world of the naked mole rat
Australian woman seriously injured during Spanish bull run
Spain's endangered Iberian lynx brought back from brink of extinction
One man and his sniffer dog help tackle Germany's hidden drug problem
The hotel that only takes dogs
T rex tooth found embedded in prey, restoring dinosaur's reputation
Bog cotton covers the summer Peak District moors in snow
Lifelike after death: the intricacies of a taxidermist's craft
The six-spot burnet moths complete their transformation
Research on animals in UK rises by 8% to exceed 4m procedures
Animal testing it's time to talk about it again
A pair of lithe animals are tumbling across the grass within feet of me
New to nature no 109: Anochetus hohenbergiae
England's ceremonial mayors eschew fur to support animal rights
Birdwatch: Corn bunting
Madrid declares war on plague of raccoon and parrot invaders
Snow leopards and wild yaks becoming 'fashion victims'
Horn seizure prompts rhinos warning
Threatened seabirds 'neglected' in plans for Scottish marine protected areas
Los Angeles campgrounds closed after plague-infected squirrel found
Only when I look down at the last second do I see it. I recoil instinctively
China's wine boom of little profit to giant pandas and small farmers
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Let's not martyr the white-throated needletail to the anti-wind cause
Grasshopper breeder up for design award and educating western palates
Spanish national park could lose Unesco status over illegal boreholes
Dog mauls boy at primary school in Northern Ireland
Our dog walks are punctuated by the corn bunting's jingling ringtone
End in sight for painful branding of semi-wild moorland ponies
New to nature No 108: Carlia decora
Penguins support gorillas as biscuit makers respond to palm oil threat
Measuring carbon age in ivory could help combat poaching, study shows
How to survive a seagull attack
A walk by the river triggers memories of a bygone age
Whales flee from military sonar leading to mass strandings, research shows
Down among the grass stems, a ball of recently hatched orb-web spiderlings
Owen Paterson vows to rid England of bovine TB with badger culls
Gassing of badgers considered in plan to eradicate TB in cattle
Visitors to the Pamplona bull run have blood on their hands
Bats: they've never had it so good
These dew ponds have been on the Downs possibly since medieval times
Australian bushman claims to have footage of legendary night parrot
Secret badger shoots pose 'a risk to public safety'
Cheshire police seize dog believed to have killed Pomeranian
Whale watching season is back - but how close is too close?
Plan to ban wild animals in travelling circuses 'goes too far'
Morrissey donates Channel 4 payout to Peta campaign against foie gras
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