Decades ago it wasn’t uncommon to see someone on the streets of New York douse a woman in a fur coat with a red liquid, simulating the blood of the animals killed to make the garment. Anti-fur clothing movements spread through the nation along with graphic pictures of hunters killing baby seals.
Such things have fallen out of the public eye, with more attention now focused on banning straws, cars, airplanes, and potentially breathing as people call for limiting anything related to humans that emits carbon. But apparently the anti-fur movement, while not as visible as in the past, isn’t dead.
From the Associated Press:
A bill that would ban the sale of fur coats, hats, handbags, gloves and earmuffs, accessories with fur trim and most other uses is whipping through the California legislature, on the heels of similar bans in the state’s two largest cities — Los Angeles and San Francisco.
On the other side of the continent, both the city and state of New York are considering fur bans. Hawaii also has a bill that would ban the sale of real fur. All the bills carve out exceptions for Native tribes or other indigenous uses for fur, and none of the bills covers secondhand furs.
The current legislative move in California has stirred up both the fur industry and animal welfare advocates.
California bill sponsor Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, a Democrat, said:
“There’s been a lot of interest in animal welfare from the voters in California for a while. California voters have said, ‘We want to know that animals don’t suffer.’ With fur, we can’t give them that guarantee.”
Not all California legislators agree.
Craig Wilson, Chief of Staff for Republican Brian Jones, said the the senator believes that “the market is taking care of it. Fur is pretty much gone from the marketplace. This just isn’t the answer.”
But the numbers don’t bear that out. Fur sales jumped from $220 million in 2009 to $530 million in 2018. That’s hardly an industry in decline.
Most fur sold in the U.S. comes from overseas, where U.S. laws regarding the humane treatment of animals don’t apply. An international group, Furmark, claims that it can verify fur sources and the treatment of animals, but many people don’t think Furmark is reliable.