Semi-naked protesters brave cold with city anti-fur demo
ANIMAL rights campaigners marched through a bitterly cold Derby city centre wearing only a sandwich board and their underwear in a protest against the use of animal fur for clothing.
Victoria Martindale, Natalie Rocca and Adrian Lacey walked along St Peter's Street and through the city centre to the Market Place on Saturday to raise awareness of animal cruelty as temperatures dipped to 6C.
Mrs Martindale said there were lots of issues surrounding animal rights but the fur trade was a big problem.
She said: "Around Christmas, real fur is on people's Christmas lists. They give presents of fur or gifts that contain real fur."
The 37-year-old, of Stanley Common, said: "The process to get the fur is horrific and we want to make people aware of that. This is the first time we've ever gone naked. In the 1980s, models such as Elle MacPherson were doing it. It was a famous and well-known campaign. We decided to do it to get people's attention."
The campaigners, from Derby Animal Rights, marched semi-naked as part of International Animal Rights Day on Saturday.
Miss Rocca, 25, of Heanor said: "People often think that fur is a by-product when, very often, the animals are killed in the process. We wanted to do something that was eye-catching to raise as much awareness as possible."
Leaflets were given out and shoppers were urged to add their names to a petition against the fur trade.
Mrs Martindale said so many people did that they ran out of forms.
She said: "We had a very good response, with more than 500 people signing."
The march was followed by a vigil in the Market Place.
Shopper Deborah Johnson, 49, of Somercotes, said she would never wear real fur.
She said: "In the old days it was worn a lot and in colder climates it is still worn today , when there really is no need to."
But Eva Williams, of Derby, said people were being encouraged to wear real fur.
The 17-year-old said: "At the moment, fur is in fashion. I would wear real fur depending on what animal it came from. If it was an endangered animal then I couldn't do it.
"I don't think people really think about it that much when they buy it."
Police officer Sgt Steve Todd was on duty during the march. He said: "We were aware of the protest taking place and no offence was caused."