California is officially becoming the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products.
On Saturday, Governor Gavin Newsom signed two new animal rights bills into law. In addition to the history-making fur-banning bill, Newsom also signed off on a bill that makes California the third state to bar most animals from performing in circuses.
Under the state’s new fur law, residents will be barred from selling or making clothing, shoes, or handbags with fur beginning in 2023.
California previously passed laws outlawing fur trapping and two major cities in the state, Los Angeles and San Francisco, had already banned fur sales.
“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Newsom said in a statement. “But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames.”
The new bills have also earned praise from animal rights groups and activists.
Kitty Block, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States said in a statement:
There are some exceptions to California’s fur ban, which doesn’t apply to any used products (meaning thrifting fur will still be legal in the state) or to clothing used for religious or tribal purposes. The ban also “excludes the sale of leather, dog and cat fur, cowhides, deer, sheep and goat skin, and anything preserved through taxidermy,” according to the Associated Press.
Still, the law could have a significant impact on the fur industry, which brought in $1.5 billion in U.S. retail sales in 2014, according to the Fur Information Council’s most recent data. Violating the law will be punishable with a fine of up to $1,000 in California.
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