January 6, 2010 / 10:45 PM / 9 years ago

Fur flies over picture of Michelle Obama in ad

A new anti-fur poster, released by PETA, shows (L-R) country singer Carrie Underwood, U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Tyra Banks. REUTERS/PETA/Handout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Animal rights group PETA has used the image of Michelle Obama without her consent on a new poster that praises the U.S. first lady for not wearing fur, the White House said on Wednesday.

The poster, which PETA says was put up at just two metro rail stations in the U.S. capital, features Michelle Obama, talk-show hosts Oprah Winfrey and Tyra Banks and country singer Carrie Underwood under the headline “Fur-free and Fabulous.”

“We did not consent to it,” said Semonti Stephens, a spokeswoman for the first lady.

Stephens confirmed that Michelle Obama did not wear fur, but was unaware whether she had seen the poster.

A White House official said the White House had contacted PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, about the poster.

But PETA, known for its attention-grabbing campaigns, did not appear to be backing down.

Its president, Ingrid Newkirk, said in a statement her U.S.-based organization had not asked the White House to fund or promote the campaign, “as they can’t do such things.”

But she said that Michelle Obama has issued a statement indicating that she doesn’t wear fur, “and the world should know that in PETA’s eyes, that makes her pretty fabulous,” she said.

A PETA poster promoting vegetarianism was banned in Britain last year for wrongly implying that eating meat caused swine flu.

Reporting by Ross Colvin; editing by Steve Gutterman

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