ITALY: Vatican mulling fur ban?
Pope Benedict XVI will be hoping for a peaceful 80th birthday today (16 April), and most importantly one without any lavish fur gifts.
The head of the Catholic Church was under the spotlight of Italy's Anti-Vivisection League over the weekend for wearing fur. The Vatican has not yet responded to requests for a ban based on ethical and religious grounds, the animal rights group said.
The activist group has made its appeal ahead of a papal trip later this month to Pavia, which is home to some of Italy's fur-makers.
The UK's anti-vivisection campaigners have also questioned the Vatican's stance towards fur in the past, without any reply.
The pontiff was photographed in a red velvet hat trimmed with a traditional white ermine fur during the winter, known as camauro.
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