West Hollywood, California was the first U.S. city to pass a ban on fur in 2011. Berkeley followed in 2017 and San Francisco in 2018. Los Angeles is the latest and largest city to follow suit. Democratic Assemblywoman from Glendale, Laura Friedman, believes there is no need for fur today, saying there are other textiles available that are just as warm and fashionable. She is the author of legislation, AB44 which recently passed a vote in the appropriations committee and is likely to reach a floor vote within a couple of weeks. Its intention is to ban the manufacture and sale of new fur products throughout the state of California.
Retailers fear harassment by animal activists
Animal rights groups, such as PETA and Direct Action Everywhere, have voiced their strong support for the bill. Retailers fear that these groups will organize protests at their stores or subject them and their clients to harassment of the kind that they have not seen from extremists for a while. In the past, they experienced situations where stores were vandalized and inventory was destroyed.
Hundreds of businesses, jobs and livelihoods at risk
Fur industry representatives have sent letters to Friedman but she claims she has not heard from them. She says she won’t be accepting any amendments to her bill unless her sponsor agrees.
Teli Spyropoulos, President of one of the largest fur retailers, BC International Group Inc., challenged the claim that she had not heard from fur industry representatives and shared his letter opposing her bill.
In his letter, he shares some of the consequences of what would happen if AB 44were to pass. Hundreds of jobs would be lost and it would have an indirect impact on hundreds more who provide ancillary services to furriers. Ceasing operations within the state of California would have a ripple effect across the country. This would not only affect individuals, but entire families.
The fur trade is one of the oldest industries in America. It comprises over 1000 fur retailers, 100 manufacturers and over 200 small family farmers as well as many trappers. Their businesses, jobs and livelihoods depend on the industry and many of them have spent decades building up their businesses.
Liberals who support the prohibition of drugs because of the unintended consequences are supporting this bill without an understanding of its possible consequences. This could include an unregulated black market which is likely to result in sale of endangered pelts and an increase in the value of furs. Cruelty to animals could increase with illicit buyers and sellers having little interest in the history behind the furs.
Fur farming is a sustainable form of animal agriculture
In the U.S., animals on fur farms are often fed leftover chicken and other proteins from food processing plants, thereby diverting millions of pounds of waste that would otherwise end up in landfills. The manure from the animals on the fur farms becomes rich fertilizer for local agricultural crops. There is minimal wastage as by-products are used to create many other products. For example, oils are used in cosmetics and meat is used as bait in the crab industry. Retail fur sales in California currently exceed $300 million, according to fur retailers.
Lies animal activists tell
Animal activists claim that animals are skinned alive for their fur. This is not true – it is not only immoral and illegal but it wouldn’t make good business sense as the fur would be damaged. Animal activists accuse fur farmers of cruelty and secrecy. They say that fur farming is not regulated. In fact, farmers who mistreat their animals can be prosecuted under animal-cruelty laws. Why would activists lie? Their real goal could be to set the stage to block the use of animals for other products, including wearable products but ultimately for food as well. Do we really want the government to be able to tell us what we can wear and eat?