California Bans Fur Trapping, Considers Wider Fur Ban

The state of California has taken steps against the cultivation and possibly the sales of fur.

On Sept. 4, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 273, which prohibits commercial and recreational fur trapping, making the state the first U.S state to ban fur trapping. The law’s text includes provisions making it illegal for trappers to use steel-jawed leghold traps. It also bans the sale of antlers except when the antlers have already been shed.

Breaking this law will be considered a misdemeanor, according to the bill’s text. Punishments could include a fine of $1,000 or imprisonment in a county jail for six months.

Fur trapping has not been big business in California. In 2017, a total of 133 trapping licenses were sold, according to the bill, and four fur-deal licenses were sold. The total revenue received from the Department of Fish and Wildlife was $15,544 for fur-trapping licenses and $709 for fur-dealer licenses.

In a tweet, bill author Lorena Gonzalez wrote, “Fur trapping is a cruel practice that has no place in 21st-century California.” Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, which includes parts of the city of San Diego as well as the cities of Chula Vista and National City.

California is also ramping up to be the first U.S. state to ban the sale of fur. On Aug. 30, AB 44 was approved 4–1 by the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee. It’s up for a vote in the Senate, which might come as early as the week of Sept. 9, according to Blake Dellinger, a spokesman for the office of bill author Laura Friedman, who represents the 43rd District, which includes Glendale, Silver Lake and parts of the Crescenta Valley.