Sir Paul McCartney's activist wife Heather Mills McCARTNEY is urging the fashion conscious to boycott J CREW stores in America after discovering the company buys fur from China, where animals are skinned alive.

The British socialite, famous for her landmine-clearing efforts, has vowed never to visit a J Crew store until the company stops offering fur imports from China.

And she'll lead a protest outside the fashion firm's Madison Avenue site in New York today (12SEP05), where she'll screen a graphic video of animals being skinned alive for their pelts.

Mills McCartney learned of the horrors of Chinese slaughter houses after hearing of a year-long undercover investigation staged by animal activists People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

She says, "J Crew should follow the example of top retailers Gap, H+M, Forever 21, and others that won't sell fur.

"Consumers who find themselves favouring fur because it's cheap are in for a shock when they find out that it's at the expense of animals who are literally skinned alive. Buying anything with fur - even if it's just trim - supports one of the most gruesome industries on the planet."