San Francisco Is the First Major U.S. City to Ban Fur

For the first time ever, a major U.S. city has banned the sale of fur. San Francisco announced on Tuesday that they will ban the sale of fur starting next year.

In a unanimous vote, city supervisors voted to ban the sale of fur, further establishing that San Francisco is a city that loves animals. The ban takes effect January 1, 2019, the Associated Press reports, but retailers are allowed to sell their current inventory of fur items until January 1, 2020.

Also important to note: reselling vintage and used furs will still be allowed, but only at secondhand stores, pawn shops and nonprofit retailers. “More than 50 million animals are violently killed each year around the world to support the fashion industry,” Katy Tang, the San Francisco city supervisor who introduced the legislation, said in a statement, according to the San Francisco Examiner. “San Francisco is a city with progressive values where we believe in the rights of all people as well as all living things—and it is not right to allow this practice to continue.”

The Examiner reported that estimated fur sales in San Francisco range from $11 million to $40 million. The ban could impact around 50 retailers in the city’s downtown area. Department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue have fur salons, although it’s the smaller retailers that could have a more difficult time adjusting. The Associated Press talked to an owner of a local store and fur-seller, B.B. Hawk. He’s considering keeping his current location and possibly selling fur at another location outside of San Francisco. “I cannot fight it,” he said of the ban. “I will not win. I do not have the energy and the money.”

Two other California cities have banned the sale of fur. West Hollywood banned fur in 2013, and Berkeley joined the ban in 2017.

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