A major British supermarket and retailer has pulled a hunting-themed children’s costume from shelves after receiving a series of complaints from parents.
Tesco was slammed on social media over a “red fox hunter jacket” aimed at children aged seven to nine by parents claiming it was “encouraging children to take up a highly cruel animal bloodsport,” The Independent reported.
The controversial costume, described as “a long sleeved red tailcoat style jacket with a single black button at the front,” was modeled after traditional fox hunting attire -- a sport that has been banned in England since 2005.
Parents were quick to call out Tesco for the outfit once it appeared online, saying they were “appalled” by the costume.
“I am appalled at how you are selling fancy redcoat fox hunters fancy dress clothes for kids,” one person wrote online, The Independent reported.
“Are you really trying to encourage them to take up a highly cruel animal bloodsport? I would like this complaint to be forwarded to your head office," another said.
One took to Twitter, writing, "@Tesco disgusting that you are selling a fox hunting outfit at all, let alone for children! I would hope you reconsider stocking this!!"
Some were in favor of the costume -- with one even taking a good-natured jab at the controversy, tweeting, "I'm not in favor of fox hunting, but shouldn't we be more concerned that Tesco is promoting pirates - well known for plundering, raping, and murder? @Tesco."
The store quickly responded to the backlash by removing the costume from its online store.
“We've listened to customers and have immediately removed this product from sale,” a spokesperson told The Independent.
Tesco claimed the $14 coat was “listed by a third-party vendor.”
Despite removing the jacket, anti-hunting groups were still upset about the supermarket’s “poor judgement,” The Independent reported.
“This appears to be remarkably poor judgement from Tesco,” said Lee Moon, a spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association. “Fox hunting is an illegal, archaic pastime that's abhorred by the majority of the population.”
“We look forward to seeing their badger baiting or dog fighting outfit in the near future!” she added.
Fox hunting as a sport dates back to the 16th century in England, but was banned in England and Wales in 2005 by the Hunting Act. It is still legal in other countries around the world.