San Francisco has become the first major US city to go fur-free after a historic unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors approved a citywide ban on fur sales, effective January 2019.
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 unanimous 10-0 vote means that the ban takes effect January 1, 2019, although retailers have until January 1, 2020, to sell any leftover fur merchandise that was purchased before March 20, 2018. Final passage of the ordinance takes place on March 27 when the Board is expected to endorse their vote, after which time it will be signed into law by Mayor Mark Farrell.
San Francisco joins West Hollywood, California, and Berkeley, California, in the US, Sao Paulo in Brazil, and India in adopting similar sale or import bans, but is the first major US city to go fur-free.
Kitty Block, chief executive 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.
“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.”
Humane Society International calls on other cities and countries to follow San Francisco fur-free ban
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.
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.
Humane Society International is hoping that the San Francisco ban will encourage legislators globally to consider similar bans, including in the UK where members of parliament are holding a fur inquiry following the #FurFreeBritain campaign calling for a ban on fur sales.
Claire Bass, Humane Society International UK's executive director added: “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.”