Miss Florida USA Event Gets Protested for Fur "Prizes"

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Tara Nieuwesteeg
Animal rights activists of all ages turned out to tell would-be beauty queens not to support the fur industry.

The Miss Florida USA program held a preliminary event in Hollywood over the weekend. And along with dozens of young women hoping to compete in the Donald Trump-owned Miss USA Pageant, there were a few dozen animal-rights activists outside the building, holding signs and yelling to the women as they walked by.

Many of the protesters were members of the Fort Lauderdale-based Animal Rights Foundation of Florida (ARFF).

Some of the contestants (the three categories women compete in, by the way, are: "personality, swimsuit, and evening gown," according to the program's website, which makes a point of stressing "NO PERFORMING TALENT IS REQUIRED") said as they rushed by that they didn't know the Fur Information Council of America (FICA) was a sponsor of the event or gave out fur coats to pageant winners. The news, of course, did not stop their entry into the building.

"By continuing to associate with FICA, Tel-Air Interests Inc., and the Miss Florida pageants unavoidably support the inhumane practices of the fur industry," said Don Anthony, ARFF's communications director. "With many wonderful, modern, and cruelty-free prize options available, how could the skins of dead animals ever be considered a prize?"

Eventually the pageant producers called Hollywood police. Four squad cars were dispatched, no arrests made.

ARFF is also planning to protest at the pageant finals on July 10.

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