21 Nov 2019
California to Ban Sale of New Fur Products
California has become the first U.S. state to approve legislation banning the sale, trade, distribution, offering for sale and displaying for sale of fur products for monetary or non-monetary consideration. The prohibition will enter into force on 1 January 2023, giving retailers more than three years to prepare for the ban and sell any fur products in inventory.
The term “fur product” comprises any article of clothing or covering for any part of the body, or any fashion accessory, including handbags, shoes, slippers, hats, earmuffs, scarves, shawls, gloves, jewellery, keychains, toys or trinkets, and home accessories and decor, that is made in whole or in part of fur. “Fur” means any animal skin or part thereof with hair, fleece or fur fibres attached thereto, either in its raw or processed state. Excluded from this ban are used fur products, fur products used for religious purposes, any activity expressly authorised by federal law, and fur products used for traditional tribal, cultural or spiritual purposes by a member of a Native American tribe.
Once the prohibition enters into force, penalties for non-compliance will result in a civil penalty of up to US$500 for the first violation, up to US$750 for a subsequent violation that occurs within one year of a previous violation, and up to US$1,000 for a subsequent violation that occurs within one year of a second or subsequent violation. Importantly, each fur product that constitutes a violation will be treated as a separate violation in any civil action, which could potentially result in hefty fines for non-compliance.