California’s statewide ban on animal fur products officially takes effect
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On January 1, California’s ban on the sale and manufacture of new animal fur products goes into effect statewide. Assembly Bill 44, which passed in 2019, makes California the first state in the nation to take this monumental step to end the fur trade within its borders. Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, sponsored the legislation, which was sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States and Animal Hope in the legislation. The bill gained strong support from local, national and international animal protection organizations.
“2023 marks a historic step forward for California by enacting a law that truly represents the values of our constituents,” said Assemblymember Friedman. “Californians do not want to see animals live and die in cruel ways for nothing more than fashion, and I am very pleased that this law will help maintain our state’s animal welfare standards, as well as potentially help drive innovation for more sustainable fashion alternatives. “
“We are grateful to California for taking a stand against the cruel fur industry by implementing this statewide ban on the production and sale of new fur products,” said Jenny Berg, California state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “The fact that some 100 million animals are still raised and killed on fur factory farms for nothing more than a fur coat, hat or other product is archaic, especially when humane and environmentally sustainable alternatives exist. We applaud California for leading the fight against fur and sending a powerful message that animals no longer have to suffer and die for fashion.”
Prior to the passage of the bill, four California municipalities—Los Angeles (2018), San Francisco (2018), Berkeley (2017), and West Hollywood (2013)—passed similar measures, paving the way for Assembly Bill 44. To date , 12 cities across the United States — including five in Massachusetts — have passed laws waiving new fur sales, and in 2021, Israel became the first country to end fur sales.
According to the 2017 Economic Census, US retail sales of fur clothing totaled just over $574 million, with most sales occurring in California at just under $129 million, followed by New York at nearly $115 million. dollars. Together, California and New York accounted for nearly 43% of all wool sales in the country in 2017.
Some fur-free policies by fashion brands and retailers coincide with the bill’s effective date. Canada Goose, Kering, Saks Fifth Avenue, Zegna Group, Rudsak, Mytheresa and Moose Knuckles all pledged to go fur-free by the end of 2022. Neiman Marcus will eliminate fur products by March 2023.
The law only prohibits the sale of new fur products and does not apply to the sale of used fur products sold at thrift stores, thrift stores and pawn shops. It does not apply to other animal products used for clothing such as leather or fleece. The law does not affect the ownership of fur products and it remains legal to wear fur. The law applies to brick-and-mortar stores that sell fur products in California, as well as online sales of fur products in California. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the California Attorney General’s office, and local law enforcement all share enforcement authority under the law. Californians can contact any of these offices with information about the sale of new fur. First-time fines are $500, second-time fines are $750, and each subsequent offense is $1,000. Nearly 20 countries across Europe have already banned fur farming and there is currently an effort by Humane Society International and other groups to collect signatures in support of the European Citizens’ Initiative “Europe without Fur” which calls for a ban on the farming and settlement of fur. the fur farmed wool products in the European market. Although the petition has already collected the necessary 1 million signatures needed by May 2023 for the European Commission to issue an official response, it remains open to collecting additional signatures and citizens of the European Union are encouraged to sign it here.