MONTREAL ― Canada Goose shares fell for a second straight day Friday amid reports the company has backed off some of its claims that it sources its skins and furs ethically.
The Toronto-based company’s stock price fell 4.7 per cent Thursday, and dropped nearly another 3 per cent in Friday morning trading, after the New York Post reported the company had quietly removed some references to ethical treatment of animals from its promotional materials.
Among the “stealthy fixes,” the Post reported, was the removal of a claim that Canada Goose suppliers only trap coyotes in overpopulated areas where they attack “pets and sometimes even people.”
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The company also apparently removed a statement in which it said it would “ensure” ethical sourcing of animals, replacing it with a “commitment” to the practice.
Canada Goose had been under investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for the past year over misleading advertising, which People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is taking credit for.
The animal-rights group submitted a video to the FTC purportedly showing mistreatment of animals at a goose ranch in British Columbia.
The video showed workers stepping on live geese, carrying them by their necks and stuffing them into cages, one on top of another.
Canada Goose denied the video had anything to do with their operations, saying “neither the farm nor the animals and the treatment of them shown in the video manufactured by PETA were a part of the Canada Goose supply chain.”
In a letter sent this June, the FTC said it wouldn’t take action against Canada Goose because of the “prompt corrective action taken by Canada Goose, such as removing the advertising claims at issue from the marketplace.”
But in a statement mailed to media, Canada Goose denied the changes were due to the FTC’s probe.
“The changes to our website were not made at the behest of the FTC, and the FTC did not reach any conclusions regarding whether any prior statements were misleading. In fact, our website reiterates our commitment to the ethical sourcing and responsible use of all animal materials,” the statement read.
“Any inference to the contrary is false.”
PETA this week took credit for the changes at Canada Goose.
“PETA urges shoppers to look behind Canada Goose’s humane-washing and see the suffering in the stitches of its coats,” executive vice president Tracy Reiman said in a statement.