An upmarket furniture shop in Norway has outraged animal rights activists after it was caught selling wolfskin rugs - despite the fact that the wolf is an endangered animal in the country. The rugs were on sale for 27,800 Norwegian kroner (£2,800, $4,700) each.
Ingunn Lund-Vang, from the animal rights organization Country People for Wild Animals (Bygdefolk for Rovdyr) attacked the shop as 'completely unethical and abusive'.
"There are no fur farms for wolves so either the wolf was shot somewhere, or it may be from abroad, where it is permitted to hunt wolves with a foot trap," she said.
"This is a barbaric trapping method that involves hours of pain for the animals. If so, it's even worse."
Ruben Amundsen, Mobelringen's general manager, on Sunday moved rapidly to diffuse the scandal, apologizing immediately. "We have now removed the skin, and it will never be for sale in the shop again," he said.
He said that he had bought the wolf skins, which had been imported from Canada, at a design fair in Oslo. The skins' importer, Erik Garthus, said that the trade was "perfectly legal", stressing that the animal had been shot, not trapped.
According to Norway's wildlife research organization Rovdata, the country's wolf population is now down to less than 37 animals, leading some to fear that the animal could soon be extinct.