San Francisco became the largest city in the U.S. to ban the sale of fur after supervisors of the city voted unanimously to place a ban on all sales, further increasing the animal-loving credentials of the city.
Advocates of animal welfare across the globe cheered the news of the vote on Tuesday, applauding the city for the compassion it has and hoping that legislation will take hold.
The ban starts January 1 and will apply to apparel as well as accessories that feature genuine fur, including coats, gloves and key chains. On Tuesday, an amendment was added that allows furriers as well as other retailers to sell their current inventory until January of 2020.
Co-Founder Wayne Hsiung of Direct Action Everywhere, the animal rights network said through a prepared statement that the historic act would usher in a big wave of legislation of animal rights around the world.
However, retailers there balked at what they consider another social mandate with a cost to them of making a living.
The CEO at West Coast Leather Skip Pas said the entire city should vote and not just the Board of Supervisors. Bas’ company sells items that are fur-trimmed but deals for the most part in leather.
San Francisco, which is named after the patron saint of animals, holds a strong reputation for social conscience, often at a cost to area businesses.
Its board has banned sales of menthol cigarettes as well as other kinds of flavor tobacco, which voters will vote on in June. Two years ago, the supervisors approved a groundbreaking parental leave law that requires private employers to offer six full weeks of paid leave.
Katy Tang is the supervisor who presented the fur ban legislation and has successfully established the prohibition of performances by exotic animals and forbid the sale of non-rescue dogs and cats at pet stores.
About 50 retailers of clothing and accessories downtown are going to be affected by this legislation, said a member of the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
The reselling of used or vintage fur by outlets that are not usually in the trading fur business such as pawn shops, thrift shops and non-profits will be allowed to continue.
The chamber estimates that fur sales in San Francisco represent $40 million annually. The city estimated that fur sales were $11 million during 2012 based upon census figures.