Real fur from raccoons and East Asian raccoon dogs, which are often mistreated as part of the international fur trade, is being passed off as fake product and sold in Melbourne markets.
Forensic tests found stalls at Queen Victoria and South Melbourne market were selling clothes and other items labelled as either 100 per cent acrylic or rabbit fur.
The majority of the falsely-labelled items come from China.
Animal Justice MP and crossbencher Andy Meddick, who conducted the investigation with animal welfare organisation Four Paws Australia, is calling on the state government to ban the sale of fur.
“Victoria could lead the way and become the first state in Australia to ban the sale of cruelty fur product. Fashion has evolved past it – even the Queen has gone fur-free,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Earlier this month, Buckingham Palace announced Queen Elizabeth II will buy only faux pieces for her personal wardrobe, while several fashion houses including Gucci and Prada have committed to going fur-free.
Mr Meddick said animals in the fur trade are subjected to “unimaginable cruelty” and can be killed through gassing, anal or vaginal electrocution, have their necks broken, be skinned alive or bludgeoned to death.
“These cruel products have no place in our state,” he said.