Sporran maker criticised for use of road kill
A Beauly taxidermist is facing criticism from animal rights campaigners for creating sporrans from local road kill.
Kate Macpherson, a trained taxidermist for over 20 years, collects badgers, foxes, deers, and stoats from country roads near where she lives, and has licences to handle protected animals.
However, this hasn’t stopped a number of complaints from animal welfare groups.
The head of the Scottish Animal Rights Alliance, Lynda Korimboccus, claims that what Ms. Macpherson is doing is wrong, saying “using a dead animal for clothing perpetuates the idea that’s what animals are for. That will lead to the deaths of other animals which will be killed to satisfy the market for fur.”
In response to Kate Macpherson’s claim on her website, that the “sporrans are ethically sourced”, Lynda Korimboccus rejected this, stating, “to say these animals are ethically sourced is wrong – dead and ethical are not words that go together.”
Yet the sporran maker defends her work, saying, “If I didn’t pick up these animals they would be rotting in a ditch. I’m creating something useful from them rather than allowing their beauty to be wasted.
“But they’re not for everybody I admit. People seem to either love them or hate them.”
Duncan Chisholm, chairman of the Kilt Makers Association of Scotland, has also defended Kate Macpherson’s work, claiming that she is reviving a traditional form.
“Sporrans used to be made from a variety of small animals – pine martens, otters or wild cats – though a lot of them are protected nowadays,” he said.
“The key thing is that it has to be practical in both size and wearability, as it’s got to be worn on a frequent basis.”
Mr. Chisholm also suggests that it is better to use real skins, rather than ones made from synthetic animal hides which in his opinion do not look as good when accompanied by the natural fibres used to make the kilt.
Each sporran Kate Macpherson creates is unique, and takes around two weeks to complete. She produces 100 sporrans a year.Tagged