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H&M suspends angora fur production after inhumane video surfaces

Shoppers inside H&M. (Joe Kohen/Getty Images for TEEN VOGUE)Swedish clothing giant H&M has joined a handful of other Scandinavian clothing producers in temporarily suspending the production of all products with angora fur citing inhumane harvesting practices.

The retailer announced its decision following the release of a graphic video showing screaming rabbits being plucked alive for their fur.

Released by the advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the video shows the rabbits on a fur-harvesting farm in China -- a country where much of the world's angora fur supply is harvested.

"We regularly audit our suppliers' angora farms. Plucking is not acceptable in accordance with our product policy. We will now accelerate further inspections of our sub-suppliers to ensure compliance with our policy," H&M says in a release.

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The company will revisit its decision to suspend production after a few weeks of inspections, reports The Wall Street Journal. In the mean time, concerned customers are encouraged to return any angora product bought at H&M for a full refund.

Plucking has been touted by some Angora farmers as the most effective way to get fur. Yet other farmers argue plucking can be done without harm to the rabbits.

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The video footage, which circulated widely in Scandinavia since being released this summer, was obtained at 10 unnamed Chinese angora farms in various provinces between June and September, according to PETA. The organization also notes that live plucking occurred at about half the farms visited.

"PETA is appealing to shoppers this holiday season," PETA spokesperson Ashley Byrne tells Women's Wear Daily. "Please take the time to read the label on that sweater or scarf. If it says 'angora,' remember the gentle rabbits whose fur was cruelly ripped out of their skin — and leave the item on the rack."

Four other Scandinavian clothing companies -- IC Companys, AB Lindex, Gina Tricot and MQ Holding -- have already suspended angora fur production.

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