The anti-fur movement has seen unprecedented momentum in the last 12 months, with major brands like Gucci and Burberry deciding to stop using fur in their collections and all of London Fashion Week swearing off the material this season. And in California, whole major cities including San Francisco and Berkeley have gotten in on the action by pushing forward laws that will ban the sale of fur within their city limits.
On Tuesday, Los Angeles inched closer toward becoming the largest American city to join the movement, with the city council voting unanimously to ban fur sales within city limits. In order for the anti-fur ordinance to pass, it still needs to be drafted by the city attorney's office and signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, according to CBS LA, but the fact that it was so strongly recommended by the council is already being considered a win by animal rights activists.
"A cruel product like fur has no place in the City of Angels, and we applaud the Los Angeles City council for taking a moral stand," said the UK Executive Director of Human Society International Clare Bass in a release.
Assuming it is able to pass through all the legal hoops, Los Angeles's fur ban would still take another two years to come into full effect to give retailers time to clear out their inventory before it was deemed illegal to sell.
UPDATE, Thurs. Sept. 20, 4:20 p.m.: The International Fur Federation and Fur Information Council of America have released an official response to the anti-fur ordinance in Los Angeles.
"This is public policy based on lies, flawed studies and false allegations as those proposing the ban have not proactively reached out to the fur industry to learn about the high animal welfare and environmental standards in place — nor have they learned about sustainability in a meaningful way," said Nancy Daigneault and Mark Oaten of the International Fur Federation in a joint statement.
The groups also brought up up a slew of questions for the Los Angeles City Council, which you can read in full below:
1) Have any one of our City Council members spent time on a fur farm to see if the claims put forth in the motion are really true?
2) Have they met with wildlife biologists to really learn about trapping and wildlife management? Will they read through the rebuttal presented to you today and engage in any further investigation in an attempt to get at the truth?
3) Are they aware of the regulations covering the fur industry and have they reached out to any of these regulatory bodies at the state, national or international level to better understand the depth of regulations that govern the fur industry?
4) Will Council meet with scientists or others within the fur trade to understand best practices or the environmental impacts of real fur versus fake fur?
5) Has Council reviewed any studies to better understand the core principles of sustainability and the value of real, natural fur and its production process in this regard as opposed to the impact on the environment from the overconsumption of synthetic fast fashion?
6) How will Council respond when this same group of activists comes back to them for the next ban on animal use products, telling us we can no longer buy leather shoes, wool blankets, or hamburgers? Fur is the easy target because it is a luxury product, but campaigns against leather, wool and meat are already well underway around the world.
Both organizations also claim that since the motion to ban fur is still a lengthy legal process, including a draft by the city attorney's office and a debate by the City Council, the proposed law still has the potential to be amended and changed "considerably."
UPDATE, Wed. Feb. 13, 8:20 a.m.: On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance to ban fur, which would take effect on Jan. 1, 2021, reports WWD. However, this support is only tentative, as the vote was not unanimous (13-1) among the City Council, according to NBC Los Angeles. Therefore, a second vote is required, as well as a sign-off from Mayor Eric Garcetti in order for the ban on fur to become official.