California Becomes First State to Ban Sale, Manufacture of Fur

California is hitting back against the fur industry.

On Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill, AB 44, which prohibits the sale and manufacturing of all fur — making California the first state to pass such legislation.

The historic bill was passed through the state’s Senate last month and was described by Newson via  Twitter as “one of the strongest animal rights laws in U.S. history.”

AB 44 will go into effect in 2023 and makes it unlawful to manufacture, sell, attempt to sell, display, trade, donate or otherwise distribute fur products.

The ban carries a number of exclusions on used or vintage fur products, as well as leather, dog and cat fur, deer, sheep and goatskin, taxidermy and fur used for religious or tribal purposes. Violators of the law will be subject to civil rather than criminal penalties.

“AB 44 ushers in a more sustainable and cruelty-free future for the fashion industry and California consumers alike,” Laura Friedman, the California State Assembly member who proposed the bill, said in a statement.

Its passage came despite strong opposition from the $1 billion U.S. fur industry, including lobbying by Truth About Fur. The group said measures to ban fur are based “on a dangerous fiction.”

Although pro-fur groups spoke out against it, the bill had bipartisan support in the California legislature, passing 52-16.

AB 44’s passage also comes amid a wave of luxury designers pledging not to use fur products — among them Versace, Prada and Burberry. High-end retailers such as Yoox Net-a-Porter and Farfetch have also vowed not to sell fur.

Newson signed a number of animal rights laws to accompany the fur ban, most notably a bill that prohibits the use of most circus animals. California is the third state to place severe restrictions on circus animals, joining New Jersey and Hawaii.

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