USA, 12 MARCH 2019 – Today, the California State Fur Ban bill (AB 44) is set for its first hearing in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife committee. The AB 44, that was recently introduced in the California legislature, would make it unlawful to sell, give, or manufacture a new fur product in the state. If passed, California will be the first state in the country to ban the cruel and unnecessary fur trade within its borders.
The initiative is spearheaded by the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation and Animal Hope in Legislation and supported by an international coalition of animal protection organisations including the Fur Free Alliance. The coalition launched a campaign website to get animal advocates involved and show support for the AB 44 bill.
The prohibition would apply to items such as clothing, handbags, shoes, slippers, hats, or key chains that contain fur and provides for a civil penalty for each violation. Fur products used for religious purposes and used fur would still be allowed.
Several cities across California already have similar bans in place. West Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco have outlawed the sale of fur in their cities. Earlier this year, Los Angeles unanimously passed a motion in favor of a similar measure.
On December 3rd, the California State Fur Ban AB was first introduced by Assembly Member Laura Friedman:
“California is one of the most progressive states in the country and a world leader in animal welfare. Given the overwhelming evidence of inhumane practices in the fur industry and the availability of so many different options for warm and fashionable fabrics, we will not continue to be complicit in unnecessary cruelty towards animals solely for the sake of fur.”
The sale of fur products in California is inconsistent with its position as a world leader on animal welfare and environmental issues, as well as its role in fostering innovative technological advancements.
California voters have repeatedly shown deep concern about the well-being of animals, including animals killed for their fur, and the state has some of the strictest laws and regulations concerning animal welfare. In 1998, California voters banned, by ballot initiative, the use of steel-jawed leghold traps, body-gripping traps and conibear traps for fur production. In 2015, California ended the killing of bobcats for their fur. In recent years, four California cities – West Hollywood, Berkeley, San Francisco and Los Angeles – all passed ordinances banning the sale of fur within city limits.
By passing AB 44, California will continue to lead the charge against animal cruelty while reinforcing the shift to fur-free products that is occurring in the fashion industry.