Fur Ban Bill Approved by California Assembly

California is closer to becoming the first U.S. state to ban the sale of fur.

On May 28, the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 44, which bans the sale of fur in California. It was passed on a 52–16 vote with 12 abstentions.

The bill will have to be approved by the California Senate and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom before it becomes a law. AB 44 has not been scheduled yet for a hearing or a vote by the Senate.

California cities including Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco and West Hollywood made headlines in the past few years for passing their own citywide fur bans.

The assembly bill’s author, Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), introduced the bill last year because there is a patchwork of different laws banning fur in the state.

“AB 44 ushers in a more sustainable and cruelty-free future for the fashion industry and California consumers alike,” Friedman said. “It is really encouraging to see the strong bipartisan support that this bill is getting in the legislature.”

The ban would apply to clothing, handbags, shoes, slippers, hats and key chains that contain fur. The proposed law offers exemptions for the sale of vintage fur as well as fur products used for religious ceremonies. A ban would not regulate skins converted into leather or products such as shearling from domesticated animals.

There would be no criminal penalties for violating the ban. Those breaking the law would be subject to civil penalties.

The bill has been criticized by the Washington D.C.–based advocacy group Center for Consumer Freedom. Will Coggin, the group’s research director, said the bill would put the government in charge of what consumers can buy and wear.

“The radical animal activists behind this bill also want to ban leather, wool, meat and many other common products. California’s legislators should respect personal choices and not support an extreme agenda that seeks to impose a vegan lifestyle on the public,” he said.