Sun, Jan 22, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Uzbekistan cracks down on sales of furry underwear

AFP , TASHKENT

If it's fur-lined boxer shorts you need, don't bother looking for them in Uzbekistan anymore.

Authorities here, citing the "unbridled fantasy" that the newfangled thermal undergarments could spark if left unchecked, have ordered an immediate halt to sales of men's and women's underwear lined on the inside with animal fur, apparently the brainchild of a local entrepreneur.

The underwear, produced by a local textile firm called Collapse, began appearing in street vendor stalls recently and was apparently targeting migrant workers who leave the Central Asian state for employment in Russia, where temperatures have plunged to Arctic levels this week.

"Traders are saying today that they have been told not to sell any more fur underwear," said Sergei Yezhkov, a local resident and journalist who wrote an article on the exotic undies for the Web-based independent news agency Ferghana.ru.

"Maybe it is the authorities' reaction to the article," Yezhkov told reporters.

The article published on the Web site said the fur-lined boxer shorts and women's underwear were designed to keep all the important bits warm in temperatures as low as minus 20?C.

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