Animal Rights

First Major U.S. City Bans Fur

San Francisco's new ban is a milestone in a global war against fur that is gaining momentum.

An adult mink in the wild. As many as 60 minks are killed to make just a single full-length fur coat.
Photo Credit: Gallinago_media/Shutterstock

San Francisco has voted to ban all sales of fur within its limits, in a historic victory for millions of animals cruelly confined and killed for their skins and hides.

Tuesday's unanimous vote by its board of supervisors makes San Francisco the largest city in the United States to enact such a ban. Two other California cities, West Hollywood and Berkeley, already ban fur, and bans on fur sales and imports exist in India and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The city’s ban, which will go into effect in January 2019, pending the mayor’s approval, states that the “sale of fur products in San Francisco is inconsistent with the City’s ethos of treating all living beings, humans and animals alike, with kindness.” The ban includes all retail sales and online sales of fur to San Francisco addresses.

With the vote, San Francisco, a major fashion center in the United States, has sent a clear message to fashion retailers and designers: fur is not fashionable. The HSUS has worked with an ever-growing list of retailers and designers who have, in recent years, dropped animal fur from their fashion lines. In the last six months alone, GucciMichael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Furla, and Versace, have announced they are going fur-free. Gucci’s CEO Marco Bizzarri said of fur in Gucci’s announcement that “it’s not modern.” In an interview with 1843 magazine last week, Donatella Versace said: “I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right.”

The victory in San Francisco is a milestone in a global war against fur that is gaining momentum. In the United Kingdom, Humane Society International is making progress toward a national ban on the fur trade. Prime Minister Theresa May has indicated her intention to make the U.K. “a world leader in the care and protection of animals,” and next week our HSI/UK office will deliver a petition to the prime minister, signed by 375,000 people, urging her to end the fur trade.

HSI/U.K. has also worked to secure a parliamentary inquiry into the U.K. fur trade. Members of parliament were shocked to hear HSI/U.K.’s investigative findings that animal fur can now often be sold more cheaply than fake fur, given the appalling welfare standards on farms in countries, including Poland, Finland, and China.

The HSUS and HSI support the global Fur Free Retailer program, which now has more than 850 brands signed up, reflecting the public distaste for animal fur and the expanding range of quality synthetic alternatives.

The fur industry looks increasingly antiquated and desperate as it stands by the confinement of wild animals in tiny cages, and the suffering and misery that fur production entails. With cities like San Francisco taking a stand against this cruelty, it’s time for those still peddling fur to look to the future, which is decidedly fur-free.

 

This article was originally published by A Humane Nation. Reprinted with permission.

Kitty Block is the president of Humane Society International and the acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.