On Saturday, Sept. 21, West Hollywood became the first city in the US to ban the sale of wearable fur in retail stores. The new law exempts furniture, blankets and leather products.
The fur ban is just one of West Hollywood’s multiple animal-friendly acts, as the city has already forbid the sale of cats and dogs, cat declawing and wild animal performances. Violators face fines starting at $250 and can be charged with misdemeanors it they receive three citations in a year.
The new law has upset several stores in the high-fashion city. Stores that once sold fur have to close their shops or move their fur items to other locations. Mayfair House, a specialty accessory and clothing store affected by the new law, has even sued West Hollywood and accused it of violating the California and US constitutions.
Mayfair House owner Johann Judah said in a statement, “The ordinance is an ill-considered and illegal law that is harmful to the city, its consumer citizens and business residents.”
West Hollywood Design District’s chairman, Darren Gold, has argued that the fur ban is bad for the city’s image.
On the other hand, West Hollywood’s spokeswoman Tamara White told ABC, “We’ve consistently worked to enact cutting-edge animal welfare legislation. This is in line with our values.”
In an interview with JSR, a local student shared his agreement with the ban.
Rushik Gandhi, a Whitney High School sophomore and veterinary office volunteer, defended the new law saying, “It’s wrong to use an animal for a superficial need like clothing. We as humans don’t have the right to harm animals for our own benefit especially for something as pointless as a coat.”
According to the Humane Society of the United States, over 50 million animal deaths occur per year because of fur trade. Fur opponents and the national animal welfare movement hope other cities will follow West Hollywood’s example and also ban fur sales.