Selling Real Fur Will Be illegal in San Francisco

Ava Gardner in The Barefoot Contessa

On Tuesday, San Francisco outlawed fur sales citywide. The ban on selling real fur applies to clothing, souvenirs, and even accessories. San Francisco is the first major municipality in the United States that takes such a drastic measure.

The ban is so strict that an online order of fur cannot be delivered to an address in the city. Fur sold at thrift stores or given away by charities will not be affected by the ban.

Katy Tang who advocated for the ban explained that people look fashionable when wearing fur at the expense of 50 million animals killed worldwide every year. Those animals either live or end their lives in inhumane conditions most of the time.

My hope is that [the ban] will send a strong message to the rest of the world.

Tang told reporters.

Retailers’ Reaction

Retailers opposed the measure since fur sales is “big business” in the city. The city council gave retailers a deadline for drying out their fur inventories: January 1, 2020.

Fur shops in Union Square noted that they are already “struggling,” and the ban will get them out of business. Some of them asked for a public vote on the issue, not just a Board of Supervisors vote.

In Union Square, more than 50 shops are selling real-fur products. The business generates $40 million every year, according to official estimates.

Other California municipalities that have recently banned fur sales include Berkeley and West Hollywood.

Animal activists hailed the recent ban, which will take effect January 1, 2019.

It is not the first time San Francisco’s regulation sacrifices businesses for the sake of social conscience. The SF Board of Supervisors recently outlawed flavored tobacco products. That measure will be voted upon by the public in June. Two years ago, the board forced employers to give new moms and dads up to six weeks of paid leave.
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