Christmas shoppers in the US have been horrified by the discovery that dog fur was used to trim winter jackets imported from China. Burlington Coat Factory, the country's largest coat chain store with outlets in 42 states, has withdrawn 480 men's parkas from sale. The revelation, which follows a two-year investigation by the Humane Society, is likely to further strain a Sino-US trading partnership already tested by the trade imbalance and reports of organs of executed Chinese prisoners being advertised for sale in the United States. On the day Burlington made the announcement that it had mistakenly sold the dog-fur parkas, television viewers on a prime-time news show on NBC were treated to pictures of cats and dogs being mistreated in China's fur trade. Undercover video footage shot by a Humane Society investigator showed an Alsatian being skinned alive by workers. The official, Rick Swain, also visited a fur factory where he was shown thousands of dog pelts ready to be sold to overseas markets. The dog abuse 'was as ugly as anything I have ever seen', Mr Swain said. Burlington spokesman Ric Bramble said Chinese exporters told the company that the parkas in question would be trimmed with raccoon fur. When the coats arrived, they bore a label stating that the trim was made of 'Mongolian Dog Fur', but company staff did not notice, and put the items on sale. 'When we found out about this, we were very angry,' the spokesman said. 'We were outraged that a substitution was made.' Mr Swain said the company had been duped, and praised it for taking immediate action. DNA tests carried out by the Humane Society confirmed the fur came from dogs. Although the revelation will be extremely unpleasant for a nation of pet-lovers, it is not against US law to import garments made from dog or cat fur. Stephanie Kenyon, from the Fur Information Council of America, said the law should be changed. The Humane Society said dog and cat fur was harvested in Thailand and the Philippines as well as China, although most of it ended up on coats exported to Russia and Eastern Europe. Chinese Embassy spokesman Yu Shunning denied the society's allegations, saying that although dogs and cats were freely bought and sold in mainland markets, they were not part of the fur trade.