PETA has been inserting itself into the fashion conversation for many years in its efforts to curb the industry's use of fur — and not always in especially subtle ways. The animal rights group has been known to show up to the events of offending brands and designers and protest, and even throw red paint on fur pieces; PETA members staged a protest just this past London Fashion Week, as well as during a Michael Kors talk this summer. French fur proponents apparently feel especially threatened, as the French Fur Federation this week announced what sounds like a new line of defense against anti-fur protesters. According to WWD, Le Centre National d’Information sur la Fourrure is a new fur information center that has a dedicated helpline for victims of anti-fur violence.
A spokesperson for the French Fur Federation, which represents 60 companies including breeders and furriers, told French newspaper Le Figaro (as translated by Google), "Every week, fur lovers are assaulted in the street verbally or physically by radicalized militants," and that the helpline will offer those people "listening, information and legal guidance." Without naming names, the spokesperson also condemned brands (like Gucci) that have taken stances against fur recently, calling their strategies "short-sighted," because, "Tomorrow leather, wool and silk will be the target of attacks."
PETA, of course, is not taking this announcement lying down, saying in a statement provided to Fashionista that, "As long as there is clothing made from animal skin in shop windows, PETA, and other associations and activists defending the cause, will continue to defend the interests of the animals that are tortured and slaughtered to make them. We also encourage consumers who are concerned about animal welfare to call for a ban on fur production in France."
That would be an extremely bold move for an entire country to make, though it's not unprecedented: Earlier this year, German leaders voted for an end to fur farming in the country, following in the footsteps of Japan and Croatia.