This week, West Hollywood, Calif., became the first city in the U.S. to ban the sale of fur products, which will go into effect on September 21, 2013.
The City Council voted 3-1 in support of the controversial fur-free ordinance, which was the final step in banning apparel that is made from the skin or pelt of animals with hair, wool or fur in a city that is, ironically, home to the fur lobbying group the Fur Information Council of America (FICA). Sales of used and vintage items will still be allowed by retailers and individuals.
The City Council initially approved the ban in September with support from the group Fur-Free WeHo and council member John D’Amica, who took on the issue as part of his campaign and sponsored the ordinance. A few thousand signatures in support of the ban were also gathered on a Care2 petition. However, the Chamber of Commerce and FICA were strongly opposed, predicting dire consequences for local retailers.
“I am pleased that my colleagues, all of them, participated in this discussion from the beginning,” said D’Amico. “The ordinance has obviously passed, and I think that makes for an exciting new way of thinking about West Hollywood and thinking about the use and wearing of fur apparel.”
West Hollywood is no stranger to animal welfare issues. In 1989, the city was declared a “cruelty free zone for animals” when bans on cosmetic testing and steel leg-hold traps were put in place. It was the first in the U.S. to ban declawing of cats and is also one of the guardian cities where pets are referred to as animal companions, not pets. Last year, it banned the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores.
Photo credit: ingridtaylar via flickr