California Becomes the First State to Ban Fur Products
Gavin Newsom approved bill AB44.
California Governor Gavin Newsom made history over the weekend, officially signing legislation that makes it "illegal to sell, donate, or manufacture new fur products in the state," CNN reports.
California Assemblymember Laura Friedman tweeted the news, saying that the ban, which makes the sale of new clothing, accessories, shoes, and other items made with fur illegal, has been decades in the making. According to the new law, anyone who violates the ban would be subject to a fine.
There are some exceptions to the rule, however. CNN notes that the sale and manufacturing involving leather, cowhide, and shearling are not affected and that Native American tribes are exempt, as well. Vintage fur and taxidermy will not be outlawed, either, and fur that is lawfully taken with a hunting license is also allowed.
Retailers and manufacturers do have some time to comply. The new ruling goes into effect on January 1, 2023.
"Today is a historic day for animals in California, including those who have been whipped into performing in circuses, or skinned alive for their fur or skin," Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of PETA, said in a statement. "PETA is proud to have worked with compassionate legislators to push these lifesaving laws forward and looks to other states to follow California's progressive lead."
The state of California's ban follows in smaller, localized regulation of fur. San Francisco and Los Angeles both outlawed the sale of fur items in 2018. Both cities's bans go into effect in 2020. USA Today notes that the Fur Information Council of America has threatened to pursue legal action against the state of California over the new ruling.
In addition to banning the sale and trade of fur, Gov. Newsom also signed legislation barring animals from performing in circuses. California joins New Jersey and Hawaii in that ban. California State Senator Ben Huesocruel authored the circus ban, saying that animals kept at circuses were subject to "cruel training and near-constant confinement."
"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."