L.A. Poised to Become Largest U.S. City to Ban New Fur Sales

L.A. Poised to Become Largest U.S. City to Ban New Fur Sales

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An ordinance that would make Los Angeles the largest city in America to ban the sale and manufacture of nearly all fur products is up for a vote by the City Council today.

The ordinance was proposed by Councilmen Paul Koretz and Bob Blumenfield

“It would be a little bit more difficult for this city because it's part of the fashion industry, and I believe that's why if we can do it here in L.A., we can do it anywhere else in the world, and I think taking this step will make more of a difference in Los Angeles than any other city could,” Koretz said at a recent City Council committee meeting.

The ordinance would include some exemptions, including furs of animals trapped by California Fish and Game license holders; the pelt of a deceased animal that is preserved through taxidermy or for the purpose of taxidermy; the gift or transfer of a used fur product between private parties; a used fur product bought, sold, donated or owned by a person not in the primary business of selling fur or a fur product, including a nonprofit organization, second- hand store, or pawn shop; the manufacture of a fur product using fur sourced exclusively from a used fur product; and a fur or fur product that is only being transported through the city.

It was not clear what economic impact such a ban could have on the city. A report from the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst said the city does not keep track of fur sales specifically.

In March of last year, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to make the city the largest in the nation to ban the sale and manufacturing of fur. The ban took effect on Jan. 1 but allows furriers and other retailers to sell current inventory until Jan. 1, 2020. The L.A. ban would start Jan. 1, 2021.

Some merchants in the fur business spoke before the Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee recently and asked it to reconsider due to the economic hardship they said the ban would have on them.

“Your actions will have dire consequences on families who worked for generations to build businesses,” said David Appel, who identified himself as a local furrier.

He added, “I've done this for 53 years, and now what? I'm going to be depressed, I'm going to commit suicide, who knows I'm going to do.”

The Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee approved the proposed ordinance on a 2-1 vote, with Councilman Greig Smith opposing.

Smith was appointed in January by the City Council to temporarily fill his former District 12 seat, which was vacated at the beginning of the year by Mitchell Englander, who stepped down to take a job in the private sector.

“I'm really concerned about asking people who have run legitimate businesses for a long time, paid their taxes and done what is asked of them, to just suddenly stop doing business. That's not American,” Smith said. “And it's not the way I think we should act as a government.”

Photo: Getty Images

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