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Nation's First Ban on Sale of Fur Goes Before State Senate Today

Many fashion lines already have stopped using real animal fur. (Monica Migielska/Pixabay)
Many fashion lines already have stopped using real animal fur. (Monica Migielska/Pixabay)
September 10, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California would become the first state in the country to ban the sale of fur if a bill before the state Senate today becomes law. Assembly Bill 44 already has passed the lower chamber.

Fleur Dawes, communications director with the nonprofit group In Defense of Animals, said animals raised for their fur, such as rabbits, coyotes, mink and chinchilla, often lead short, brutal lives.

"They are killed in the most ghastly ways,” Dawes said. “They are bludgeoned to death, they are caught in traps, they are electrocuted. And then the pelts are ripped from their bodies and then sewn into fashion garments.”

The cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Berkeley already have passed similar bans. Fur-industry groups say the industry already is highly regulated, and claim natural fur is more eco-friendly than plastic-based fake fur.

It still will be legal to sell second-hand fur clothing or decor. Taxidermy and the sale of leather, full sheep or deer pelts and fur used in Native American ceremonies also are permitted. Dawes noted the bill does not address the wearing of fur.

"AB 44 will not prevent anyone from buying fur in other states or wearing fur that they already own,” she said. “All it will do is prevent millions of deaths from fur being sold in California going forward."

The bill establishes a fine of $500 per item sold or $1,000 for repeat violators. Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill banning the commercial or recreational trapping of animals on public and private lands in the state.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA