LOS ANGELES (CN) – Fur is out. Or that’s the plan the city of Los Angeles set in motion Tuesday as officials voted on a proposal to ban the sale and manufacture of fur products by 2020, including clothing and accessories.
If approved, Los Angeles would be one of the largest cities in the nation to ban fur. West Hollywood, Berkeley and San Francisco have similar laws on the books.
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council asked the city attorney to draft a law banning the sale and manufacturing of clothing, handbags, shoes, earmuffs, jewelry and key chains made from or containing fur.
The ban would not extend to the sale of used fur and the city attorney’s office will review other exceptions, including for religious practices and what laws regulate the sale of fur products from legally trapped animals.
Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who co-authored the proposal, said the law will dry up the market for fur farms that expose animals to inhumane conditions. He described the cruel means fur farms use, electrocuting animals or sometimes skinning them alive.
“It’s just plain wrong,” said Blumenfield. “It’s 2018, and we must step up and must stop this practice.”
Councilman Paul Koretz said, “There’s nothing humane about raising an animal and killing it for unnecessary vanity.”
According to Koretz, the Chinese fur industry is one of the main culprits who cruelly expose animals to suffering.
Animal rights advocates showed footage from a Chinese fur farm outside the City Council chambers after the Tuesday morning vote. The hidden camera footage showed minks, foxes, and some dogs being skinned for their fur. One video showed what appeared to be a fox languishing in garbage after being skinned alive.
Giselle Huesca learned about the council vote through social media and described herself a newbie activist, but someone who could not ignore the occasion.
“We do not need to exploit animals or to feed our vanity,” said Huesca, who joined about a hundred other animal rights activists decked out in red with the Fur Free LA slogan. The nonprofit group Animal Hope and Wellness organized the protest.
The City Council will take a final vote on the matter at a later time.
There were no fur supporters present at Tuesday’s vote. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, mink pelt production dropped 4 percent in 2017 to 3.3 million pelts. Wisconsin produced the most mink pelts in 2017 at 1.09 million.
According to Wisconsin Public Radio, China is the largest importer of American pelts, but a trade war between the two countries could hurt the industry.
In recent years, Gucci, Versace, Hugo Boss and other major fashion brands have backed away from using fur in their couture.