The Los Angeles City Council Votes to Ban Fur Sales


As of Thursday, May 2, 2019

Los Angeles has become the largest city in the United States to take a big step toward banning the sale of fur. Sales of vintage and used fur are exempt.

The proposed ban, approved by a 12–0 vote on Sept. 18, will not go into effect for two years, said Paul Koretz, an L.A. city councilman and a sponsor of the bill.

“It will disrupt the industry, but we’re going to make the transition as smooth as possible,” he said. “Los Angeles is one of the fashion capitals of the world. If you can do it here, you can do it anywhere. We hope that New York, Chicago and Miami are watching.”

City Councilman Bob Blumenfield co-presented the motion to ban fur, which was seconded by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.

The Los Angeles City Council asked City Attorney Mike Feuer to draft an ordinance considering how the ban will be enforced. The City Council will vote on the ordinance at a later date.

Los Angeles is the latest California city to support a fur ban. In March, San Francisco banned fur. Last year, Berkeley passed a fur ban, and five years ago, West Hollywood was the first city in California to pass a fur ban.

Keith Kaplan, director of communications for the Fur Information Council of America, said that his organization will embark on a larger campaign to educate the public and politicians on the possible consequences of a fur ban.

“If you look across the California landscape, there is a lot of talk about basing laws on lies,” Kaplan said of recent federal rollbacks of Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Kaplan contended that the videos used by anti-fur activists to lobby for the ban were staged.

Fur advocates contend that the ban will cost the economy thousands of jobs and it will end up hurting the environment because faux fur and faux leather are petroleum-based products. When washed, plastic microfibers used in these synthetic products threaten marine life.

Kaplan warned that a fur ban—which would include clothing, hats, handbags and footwear—will put in motion bans on other animal products. “Do you give government the right to take away your freedom of choice of what you want to buy: meat, silk, wool or leather?” Kaplan asked. “The right of a social minority to eat and dress the way they want should be respected.”

Marc Ching, founder of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, said that he conducted many undercover investigations of the fur trade and consistently found horrific abuses.

“Los Angeles has taken an ethical and moral stand that cruelty to animals is not acceptable. The fur ban is not just about creating animal welfare, it is about creating a more humane community, about being in line with this city’s values,” Ching said in a statement.