A campaign has begun to make West Hollywood, California the first fur-free city in the United States, and perhaps the world. The animal rights group In Defense of Animals joined activists and residents of West Hollywood to propose a ban on the sale of fur products there. “IDA is proud to once again work with the progressive city council of West Hollywood towards this landmark initiative to make this city fur-free. Fur farming and production is notoriously and inherently cruel, and every opportunity to ban or restrict the sale of fur saves countless animals’ lives,” said IDA’s Chief Executive Officer, Anand Ramanathan. (Source: Cisionwire.com)
They may have a good chance — in 2003 they passed a ban on cat declawing, and were the first city council in North America to do so. Their ban paved the way for cities such as Berkeley, Burbank, Culver City, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills to implement their own bans. If their ban on selling fur passes, it may influence other cities in California to do the same. Cities outside of California that could go the same way are Madison, WI, Athens, OH, Ann Arbor, MI, Austin, TX, Portland, OR and Key West.
About 26 million mink are killed each year and 4.5 million foxes, to make fur for clothing, according to Mercy for Animals. Hundreds of thousands of chinchillas, sable, raccoon dogs, and fitch (European polecat) are also killed on fur farms. About half of all the fur sold in the United States is from China. Much of it goes for fur on clothing that is deliberately mislabeled as faux so that people will be tricked into buying it. Neiman Marcus was recently caught selling real fur labeled as faux. Saks and Macy’s may have been doing the same thing. Apparently the deliberate mislabeling of real fur has been going on for some time. In 2007 the Humane Society tested 25 jackets and found 24 were labeled incorrectly. The jackets contained real fur from raccoon dogs, which is a fox-like animal.
On Chinese fur farms, PETA found the treatment of these animals was beyond cruel, “Undercover investigators from Swiss Animal Protection/EAST International toured fur farms in China’s Hebei Province, and it quickly became clear why outsiders are banned from visiting. There are no penalties for abusing animals on fur farms in China — farmers can house and slaughter animals however they see fit. The investigators found horrors beyond their worst imaginings. In their lives and their unspeakable deaths, these animals have been denied even the simplest acts of kindness.” (Source: PETA.org) Some stores have banned raccoon fur, such as Lord & Taylor in 2009. Since fur is obviously not needed any longer for warmth, it is clearly an unnecessary luxury item purchased by the unaware. Let West Hollywood’s example show us the way toward the alleviation of animal cruelty.
Image Credit: Cal-State Long Beach