Recently, San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur. As a result, the Californian city is now the largest in the U.S. to approve the prohibition. Animal activists and environmentalists cheered the development. Some said the ban is further evidence fo the city’s animal-loving credentials.
As USA Today reports, the ban will take effect January 1, 2019. It applies to apparel and accessories featuring real fur. These include coats, key chains, and gloves. On Tuesday, an amendment was added to allow furriers and other retailers to continue selling their inventory until January 1, 2020.
Said Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere: “This historic act will usher in a new wave of animal rights legislation across the globe.” Others were not so pleased by the move. “It should be a citywide public vote, it shouldn’t be decided by the Board of Supervisors,” said Skip Pas, chief executive officer of West Coast Leather, which sells fur-trimmed items.
The fur ban legislation was supervised by Katy Tang. The activist also pushed to ban performances by exotic animals, as well as to forbid the sale of non-rescue cats and dogs from pet stores. “It is estimated that around the world some 50 million animals are slaughtered in gruesome ways so that we can wear their fur and look fashionable,” Tang told the San Francisco Chronicle. “My hope is that it will send a strong message to the rest of the world.”
“I am a huge animal rights advocate, and while in office I would like to use my legislative abilities to help those who can’t speak for themselves,” Tang added.
Approximately 50 clothing and accessory retailers in downtown San Francisco will be affected by the legislation. The chamber estimates that every year, San Francisco fur sales total at least $40 million. However, the city also says that if sales numbers are higher than its estimate, the prohibition is unlikely to cause harm to the local economy.
Benjamin Lin, 72, is the owner of B.B. Hawk, located in the South of Market neighborhood. In his showroom, one will find chinchilla, sable, fox, and mink. Because of the ban, he is considering keeping his current location but selling elsewhere, outside of San Francisco. “I cannot fight it,” he said of the ban. “I will not win. I do not have the energy and the money.”
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