California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs AB 44 to Ban Sale of New Fur Products

On Oct. 12, the office of California Governor Gavin Newsom announced he had signed into law AB 44, making the state the first in the United States to ban the sale of new fur products. In addition to the sale of new fur, the legislation includes a ban on the display for sale, trade, manufacture and distribution of new fur products in the state.

“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Governor Newsom said in a statement.

The ban applies to clothing, handbags, shoes, slippers, hats and key chains that include fur. Leather, cowhide, shearling and fur products used for religious purposes are exempt from the law. Provisions are included for the exemption of taxidermy, fur legally taken from an animal through a hunting license, and secondhand goods.

“PETA is proud to have worked with compassionate legislators to push these lifesaving laws forward and looks to other states to follow California's progressive lead,” Tracy Reiman, executive vice president People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said in a statement.

While animal-rights activists across the state cheered the law, others were not pleased with the passage of the new legislation. In a statement, Keith Kaplan, communications director of the Fur Information Council of America, revealed his organization’s intent to challenge the law.

“It does not bode well for honest, hard-working people, for democracy, and for commerce when by government fiat businesses can be terminated for no other reason than to score political points with a handful of fanatics,” Kaplan said in a press release.

The law will be implemented beginning Jan. 1, 2023, with civil penalties provided for each violation. These civil penalties range from $500-$1,000, depending on the violation.