California Becomes The First US State To Ban Fur

Sustainability and animal rights are at the forefront of this landmark change.

Photo Credit: CNN

On Friday the California state governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a law banning the sale of new clothing and accessories made of fur. So vintage fur is of course not banned, and any fur that people already have is fine to be worn and used. There are also exceptions, for example traditional Jewish fur hats are allowed to be made and sold as they are religious garments. However this ‘ban’ is not really about what people can and cannot wear, rather it is focusing on changing the way consumers view fur.

California is the first state to ban fur, following in the footsteps of fur bans in European countries and US cities. The state-wide ban reflects changing tides in the fashion world. In recent months numerous brands have elected to go fur-free, from Prada and Chanel to ASOS and Myer.

The message these labels are sending is that fur is not fashionable enough to outweigh the need for animal welfare. This will likely change consumer habits too; as less brands make fur products, they become less stylish. While California residents may buy fur in other states or online, increased awareness of the environment and animal rights suggest they may not even want to.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

California has also recently banned the sale of commercially-bred pets in pet stores, and circus’ use of animals such as bears and elephants. Governor Newsom stated “California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur.” This is in direct contrast to statements by pro-fur organisations.

According to Keith Kaplan of the Fur Information Council of America:

“This issue is about much more than animal welfare in the fur industry. It is about the end of animal use of any kind. Fur today, leather tomorrow, your wool blankets and silk sheets — and meat after that.”

Kaplan also stated that the ban on fur is part of a “radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step”. It is important to note the fur ban did not include any wording surrounding leather or other animal products, although technology is advancing rapidly in the areas of faux animal products. The fact is many consumers choose faux animal products, often labeled ‘cruelty-free’, because of increasing social awareness surrounding the consequences of animal cruelty.

California has joined countries, brands, and consumers in boycotting fur. Hopefully this marks a larger change in how the world views the fur industry, and that California truly is leading other states and countries to passing more animal rights legislation.

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