California is officially becoming the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products.
On Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed two new animal rights bills into law. In addition to the history-making fur-banning bill, Newsom also signed off on a bill that makes California the third state to bar most animals from performing in circuses.
California previously passed laws outlawing fur trapping and two major cities in the state, Los Angeles and San Francisco, had already banned fur sales.
"California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Newsom said in a statement. "But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames."
The new bills have also earned praise from animal rights groups and activists.
Kitty Block, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States said in a statement:
“The signing of AB 44 underscores the point that today’s consumers simply don’t want wild animals to suffer extreme pain and fear for the sake of fashion. More cities and states are expected to follow California’s lead, and the few brands and retailers that still sell fur will no doubt take a closer look at innovative alternatives that don’t involve animal cruelty. We also applaud lawmakers for enacting AB 1254 to make it unlawful to trophy hunt bobcats in the state. Other states have passed temporary bans on the trophy hunting bobcats after their numbers dropped too low and risked extinction, but the California law goes above and beyond by taking a proactive step to end needless and cruel trophy hunting. Thank you Governor Gavin Newsom and Assemblymembers Laura Friedman and Sydney Kamlager-Dove for your humane leadership.”
There are some exceptions to California's fur ban, which doesn't apply to any used products (meaning thrifting fur will still be legal in the state) or to clothing used for religious or tribal purposes. The ban also "excludes the sale of leather, dog and cat fur, cowhides, deer, sheep and goat skin, and anything preserved through taxidermy," according to the Associated Press.
Still, the law could have a significant impact on the fur industry, which brought in $1.5 billion in U.S. retail sales in 2014, according to the Fur Information Council's most recent data. Violating the law will be punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 in California.
From Harper's Bazaar U.S.