Game of Thrones Tours urged by animal rights group to axe fur costumes
Game of Thrones Tours has come under fire from animal rights campaigners over the use of real fur on some of its costumes.
Northern Ireland Says No to Animal Cruelty says the company is promoting the fur industry by using real fur on cloaks given to people to wear on tours of Game of Thrones filming locations.
"This is a fantasy adventure series filled with magic and mystic. These do not need to be real and therefore neither does the fur," says the group.
Game of Thrones Tours has admitted that some of the cloaks do have real fur - about 10% - but it will consider whether to get rid of them.
A statement said: "80-90% of our wool cloaks have faux fur, which we bought on Ebay. We do have some cloaks with real fur. We have a few raccoons we bought on Ebay from Canada, but most of the real pelts were bought from a vintage shop in Manchester.
"Our intention is not to promote cruelty to animals, which is extremely out of fashion, but to 'immerse' visitors to Northern Ireland, who love Game of Thrones, in the real feelings, the textures - wool and leather and fur - of Game of Thrones.
"In two years, none of our customers have passed any negative remarks nor written any negative reviews on Trip Advisor about our use of real fur. It's simply a device to transport our customers to Westeros, rather than a platform for the promotion of fur in our real contemporary society."
Local businessman Frank Shivers told the BBC Nolan show the people protesting "need to catch themselves on".
"Without a doubt everybody's against animal cruelty and real fur in this day and age it's not needed, we can use synthetic," he said.
"But we're talking about 10% of the costumes have been found in vintage shops. Unfortunately the animal has already gone through the ordeal that it went through. But this is just ludicrous to start calling for this."
Kirsty Henderson from the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Foundation responded: "It's great that they acknowledge that fur is cruel and only 10% is real that's fantasic,
"But that in itself means that it would be very easy to swap from real fur to fake fur and whether the fur that they use was purchased from a second hand shop, it sends the same unacceptable message that's the same as new fur, that it's OK to kill animals to rip the skin from their backs."