California has become the first state in the U.S. to ban the sale of animal fur.
On Friday, October 11, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a series of bills to fight against animal cruelty, including AB44, which states the sale, manufacture and donation of fur clothing and accessories are illegal.
“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 published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Created by assemblyperson Laura Friedman, anyone who sells, donates or manufactures new clothing, handbags, shoes or other items using fur are subject to civil penalties beginning in January 2023.
“We’ve known from people who’ve gone undercover for years in the fur industry that it is impossible to be assured of humanely raised fur,” Friedman said in the same statement.
There are certain exemptions, such as used fur and taxidermy products as well as leather, cowhide and shearling. It also doesn’t apply to fur products that are used for religious purposes for or by Native American tribes. Fur that is lawfully taken with a hunting license will also still be allowed.
This action follows a set of citywide bans by San Francisco and L.A., as well as a shift in the fashion industry itself. Design houses like Coach, Versace, Michael Kors, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo and Burberry have all ceased the use of fur.
According to Elle, executive vice president of PETA, Tracy Reiman, released a statement calling the recent California ban a historic day for animals in California, including those who have been whipped into performing in circuses or skinned alive for their fur or skin.”
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