U.S. largest city San Francisco bans fur sales

U.S. largest city San Francisco bans fur sales, as supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur. Animal welfare advocates around the world cheered news, applauding the city for its compassion and hoping that the legislation will catch on.

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The accessories ban including coats, key chains and gloves. An amendment added Tuesday allows furriers and other retailers to sell current inventory until January 1, 2020.

Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, said that “this historic act will usher in a new wave of animal rights legislation across the globe.”

“It should be a citywide public vote, it shouldn’t be decided by the Board of Supervisors,” said Skip Pas, chief executive officer of West Coast Leather, which sells fur-trimmed items but deals largely in leather.

Katy Tang, the supervisor behind the fur ban legislation. About 50 clothing and accessory retailers downtown will be affected by the legislation, said Jim Lazarus, senior vice president of public policy at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber estimates San Francisco fur sales account for at least $40 million a year. The city’s Office of Economic Analysis estimated fur sales at $11 million in 2012. If sales numbers are much higher then it significantly harms the overall local economy.

The Fur Information Council of America and the International Fur Federation wrote to supervisors before the vote, to launch a certification program that would ensure animal and environmental health. The banning will hit large and small retailers, although smaller businesses will probably have a harder time adjusting.