Animals Rights Activists Rejoice as S.F. Bans Fur Sales

San Francisco became the first major city in the United States to ban sales on new fur items.

San Francisco can mark itself down for another first on Thursday for being a major city in the United States that banned fur sales.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the ban, which will take effect in January 2019. 

Before the vote, Supervisor Katy Tang added an amendment allowing retailers to sell inventory bought by Tuesday until January 2020 with a dated invoice. Tang introduced the plan in December.

West Hollywood passed a similar ban in 2011 while Berkeley passed a ban on fur apparel last year. An estimated 50 million animals are killed each year to produce fur items while 85 percent of pelts come from fur farms, according to Tang.

“To me, it is unfashionable to take the life of another living creature for the purpose of wearing them,” Tang says in a statement. “I am grateful to have the opportunity to speak on behalf of animals everywhere and make it clear that we should not be profiting off of torture.”

Fur sales in San Francisco are estimated to total $11 million to $40 million, with about 30 retailers around Union Square who sell fur items. Business warned of economic impacts but animal rights advocates won the debate.

“Supervisor Tang and San Francisco are leading the way in making a more compassionate world for animals,” says Wayne Hsiung co-founder of Direct Action Everywhere in a statement. “This historic act will usher in a new wave of animal rights legislation across the globe.”

The ban doesn’t include second-hand items or other animal apparel like leather, lambskin or wool. Violators could pay up to $1,000 if fined.

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