In a historic move, California has become the first U.S. state to ban the sale and manufacture of fur, and the third, after New Jersey and Hawaii, to ban animal circus acts. Governor Newsom signed both pieces of legislation into law on Friday.
Assembly Bill 44, also known as the California State Fur Ban, outlaws the sale and manufacture of new items made from fur animals including, mink, rabbit, and coyote. There are exceptions for used fur garments, fur that is used for religious purposes, leather products, deerskin, sheepskin, and goatskin.
Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D- Glendale) authored the bill last December after realizing the overwhelming evidence of cruelty in an industry that is difficult to regulate due to the globalized nature of fur.
“Thanks to the painstaking work of animal welfare advocates and the conviction of my colleagues in the legislature, California has continued our legacy as a world leader on animal welfare issues,” said Friedman.
The West Hollywood, Berkeley and San Francisco Bans have gone into effect and the Los Angeles law will go into effect January 2021. The statewide bill provides a phase-out period for retailers and manufacturers and will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
Coyotes, chinchillas, foxes, mink, rabbits, and other fur-bearing animals are subjected to unregulated killing methods which cause unimaginable terror and agony. Animals are gassed, electrocuted, or have their necks broken, while anal or genital electrocution is a common method for killing animals used for fur. Furs from dogs, cats, raccoons, rodents and other animals are often undisclosed or intentionally mislabeled by manufacturers, and fur products are often preserved with carcinogenic chemicals.
The ban follows the recent passing of AB 273, sponsored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, which bans fur trapping and the sale of raw fur throughout the state.