California to Ban the Sale of New Fur Products

Governor Gavin Newsom signed the new law on Friday

Fur coats
A new California law prohibits the sale of new fur-based products.
Bert Smeets/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / October 14, 2019 7:00 am

If you’ve decided that your life’s calling is to be a furrier and you’re looking for a place to open a retail outlet for your new business, here’s a tip: you might want to avoid California for your new venture. On Friday, the state’s governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a new bill making sales of new fur products illegal in the state. 

California is the first state in the nation to pass such a law. A report from CNN has more details:

The bill, authored by state assemblymaker Laura Friedman, applies to all new clothing, handbags, shoes and other items made with fur. Those who violate the law would be subject to civil penalties.

Used fur and taxidermy products are exempt from the ban, along with leather, cowhide and shearling. Fur products used for religious purposes or by Native American tribes are also exempt, and fur lawfully taken with a hunting license is still allowed.

With this maneuver, California has made its presence felt regarding an ongoing debate over fur — one which touches on questions of animal welfare and sustainability, among others. 

For residents of Los Angeles, the state law echoes one passed by the city last year. It’s also part of an emerging global trend: in 2018, Norway announced that it would shut down its mink and fox fur factories by 2025

Will California’s law spread to other states? Only time will tell — but momentum certainly seems to be on its side.

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