11 May 2018
San Francisco Becomes First Major U.S. City to Ban Sale of Fur Products
The City of San Francisco has passed an ordinance to ban effective from 1 January 2019 the sale, offer for sale, display for sale, distribution and manufacturing of fur products. Fur products purchased or obtained on or before 20 March 2018 are not subject to this prohibition as long as they are sold or otherwise distributed no later than 31 December 2019 and the person or entity taking advantage of this exception is able to produce an invoice showing that he or she purchased or obtained the fur product on or before 20 March 2018.
The prohibition does not apply to used fur products by a person not normally in the business of selling fur products, a non-profit organisation or a second-hand store, or to fur products made from fur-bearing mammals and non-game mammals lawfully taken under the authority of a trapping licence pursuant to California regulations. The term “fur product” means 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 and key chains, that are made wholly or partly of fur. Excluded from this definition are dog and cat fur products.
As a result of this action, San Francisco is currently the largest U.S. city to have banned the sale of fur products. Other smaller U.S. cities also have prohibitions in the books, including California’s West Hollywood and Berkeley. Prior to the announcement of the ban, sales of fur products in San Francisco had been estimated to be in the neighbourhood of US$40 million per year.