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March 20, 2018

San Francisco bans fur sales in historic vote for compassionate consumerism

HSI celebrates U.S.’s first major city fur ban

Humane Society International

  • Say no to the cruelty of fur. Heather Fone/The HSUS

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has just made history by unanimously approving a citywide ban on fur sales, effective January 2019. San Francisco joins West Hollywood, California, and Berkeley, California, in the U.S., Sao Paulo in Brazil, and India in adopting similar sale or import bans, but is the first major U.S. city to go fur-free. Humane Society International celebrates this historic vote for animals and compassionate consumerism, and congratulates all the organizations in California that worked so hard to achieve this ban.

Kitty Block, CEO of Humane Society International said: “San Francisco has today put itself on the map as a world-leading city in kind, progressive law making. The fur trade is responsible for the suffering and death of more than 100 million animals a year, either kept in tiny cages to be killed by gassing or electrocution, or trapped in the wild waiting hours or days to be shot, all for fashion. Today, San Francisco has said a resounding ‘no’ to that suffering, so this is an exciting and historic vote both for animals and compassionate consumerism, and we hope that the world is watching. Let’s see this ban replicated in cities, states and countries across the world.”

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The ban proposal was first put forward in December last year by San Francisco District Supervisor Katy Tang, urging the full Board to approve because “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 takes effect Jan 1, 2019 – though retailers have until Jan 1, 2020 to sell any leftover fur merchandise that was purchased before 20 March 2018. Final passage of the ordinance takes place on March 27th when the Board is expected to endorse their vote, after which time it will be signed into law by Mayor Mark Farrell.

The ban applies to the sale, display and manufacturing of new fur apparel, meaning that all stores in the city will be fur-free by next year, including online purchases for delivery to San Francisco addresses. Second-hand shops may continue to sell vintage fur as long as it is not from an endangered species. With so many high quality faux fur options now available, San Francisco has an exciting opportunity to be a leader in cutting-edge faux fur design and innovation.

In recent months an increasing number of top designers have dropped fur from their collections – just last week Italian luxury brand Versace announced its decision to go fur-free, joining the likes of Gucci, Hugo Boss, Armani, Furla, Michael Kors and Jimmy Choo.

HSI is hoping that the San Francisco ban will encourage legislators globally to consider similar bans. In the United Kingdom where HSI/UK is leading the #FurFreeBritain campaign, members of parliament are holding a fur inquiry following HSI/UK's call for a ban on fur sales, and Claire Bass, HSI/UK's executive director will write to the British government urging Prime Minister May to follow San Francisco's ethical lead.

Claire Bass noted: “Standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the most influential designers in the world, San Francisco is showing that animal fur is a fashion faux-pas that trend-setting San Franciscans simply will not tolerate. The vast majority of British people feel the same, and our campaign for a nationwide ban on the sale of fur in gaining momentum in the UK. For our government to realise its ambition of being ‘a world leader in animal welfare’ means closing our borders to the cruel, outdated and completely unnecessary fur trade.”

ENDS

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