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Miss Florida gets ugly


Image courtesy of Animal Rights Foundation of Florida

For Immediate Release: May 28, 2009

Contact: Amanda Burk:

Miss Florida USA Gets Ugly

The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida calls on Miss Florida USA to be fur-free

( Fort Lauderdale, FL ) - The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF) recently sent a letter to Grant H. Gravitt Jr., executive producer at Tel- Air Interests, Inc. – parent company behind all Miss Florida USA and Miss Florida Teen USA Pageants - requesting immediate removal of the Fur Information Council of America (FICA) from the pageant's sponsor list.

From July 14th-18th 2009, contestants from across the state will be competing for the title of Miss Florida USA 2010. This year, prizes range from cash and jewelry to television appearances. Yet, at this event dedicated to beauty and grace, one pageant prize is getting recognition for its ugly and barbaric qualities. FICA is a long-time sponsor of the annual pageant. The Miss Florida USA website features contestants modeling fur coats designed by FICA, claiming fur to be "the fabric of choice." In addition, a select few pageant “winners” will receive fur coats and other fur items from FICA as prizes.

In its letter, ARFF cites that killing methods on fur farms are gruesome and clearly favor profit over animal welfare. They go on to state, “as no killing method is fool-proof, undercover investigations routinely document animals on fur farms being brutally skinned alive. “

Photo courtesy of DC John -

According to ARFF, so long as Miss Florida USA and Tel-Air Interests continue to consort with FICA, they are directly supporting the inhumane practices of the fur industry. ARFF has suggested that with many wonderful, modern and cruelty-free prize options available, there is no place for the skins of dead, tortured animals in this or any other pageant.

Photo courtesy of adam.durand - 

Currently, the fur industry consumes billions of animals each year. No federal law exists to regulate how animals used for fur are treated or killed, and killing methods on fur farms include such brutal procedures as neck snapping, gassing, and electrocution. The fur industry has historically refused to condemn even the most blatantly cruel practices. Genital electrocution - deemed “unacceptable” by the American Veterinary Medical Association - is frequently used by the industry and causes animals to suffer from cardiac arrest while they are still conscious.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Hawk -

Pending Mr. Gravitt’s response, ARFF plans to be a continued presence outside the pageant with signs and literature illustrating the painful truth behind the fur industry.

For more information, please visit or call (954) 727 – ARFF.


  • Butterflies Katz 5 years ago

    I watched the pageant last year because there was nothing else on, but I certainly won't support it this year in leau of learning this. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Deb 5 years ago

    Holy #@!! Are we still fighting this? I guess I haven't been paying attention, as I thought fur was out. Are they still clubbing baby seals too?

  • Jeannie 5 years ago

    Why...oh why would anyone choose to support this horrific and cruel industry? If you must sport a furry look, why not use one of the many fur alternatives available on the market? Shame on anyone who considers real fur fashionable! Shame, shame, shame!!!

  • Keith Berger - Boca Raton Animal Rights Examiner 5 years ago

    Tragically, the fur industry is still very active and, yes, baby seals are still in grave danger, with hundreds of thousands of these innocent creatures losing their lives every year. As long as there is a market to be satisfied and money to be made... Go to peta .org to see what you can do to help end this senseless waste of life.

  • Sandra 5 years ago

    Why don't you protest outside of department stores (many that sell fur all year), leather stores or steak houses. These young women (and their families) work all year to be part of this event. Most of the young women either volunteer for charities or even have their own. They don't wear fur on the show--its only a prize which they are free to decline. The failure of agencies like yours to reach the mainstream is due to your misguided efforts. Here's a tip---Neiman's sells fur almost all year funny I never see you people at Bal Harbour Shops. That would get you publicity. MAYBE you people have a different agenda.

  • Keith Berger - Boca Raton Animal Rights Examiner 5 years ago

    Thank you for your comments and suggestions, Sandra. I will pass your concerns on to ARFF (who, I believe, also demonstrate outside Neiman Marcus in Bal Harbor Shops).

    The point here is not whether pageant participants wear or accept fur. To reiterate, " long as Miss Florida USA and Tel-Air Interests continue to consort with FICA, they are directly supporting the inhumane practices of the fur industry". If pageant sponsors were murdering humans instead of non-human animals, I'm sure no one would take issue with dropping those agencies from the sponsor list.