California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill banning the sale and manufacture of products with animal fur. This bill comes on the heels of another state bill signed by Newsom that banned fur trapping in the state. The ban of fur sales and manufacturing will begin in 2023; the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco already signed into law similar bans. There is an exemption, however, for fur products used for tribal or religious reasons.
In addition to the fur ban, Newsom also signed a bill that bans most animals from use in circuses and another banning bobcat trophy hunting.
“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Newsom said in a statement. “But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames.”
Animal rights activists are happy with the law. “The signing of AB 44 underscores the point that today’s consumers simply don’t want wild animals to suffer extreme pain and fear for the sake of fashion. More cities and states are expected to follow California’s lead, and the few brands and retailers that still sell fur will no doubt take a closer look at innovative alternatives that don’t involve animal cruelty,” said Kitty Block, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States.
International advocates are hopeful that California’s ban will pressure other countries like the United Kingdom to take similar actions. While fur manufacturing is banned in the UK, importing of fur products from other countries is still allowed. “Now is the time for the UK to join the trailblazing to shut down markets for this cruel and outdated industry. We banned fur farming here two decades ago for being inhumane, but now we allow tens of millions of pounds of fur to be imported; by effectively outsourcing cruelty we’ve only done half the job,” Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, wrote in a blog post.
According to Humane Society International, more than 100 million animals globally are killed for their fur, and the fur industry in the US was worth $1.5 billion dollars in 2014, the most recent data available from the Fur Information Council of America.