San Francisco becomes largest U.S. city to ban fur sales

San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur, further burnishing the city’s animal-loving credentials as it becomes the largest U.S. city to approve the prohibition.

Animal welfare advocates around the world cheered news of last Tuesday’s vote, applauding the city for its compassion and hoping that the legislation will catch on.

The ban takes effect on January 1, 2019 and applies to apparel and accessories featuring real fur, including coats, key chains and gloves. An amendment added allows furriers and other retailers to sell current inventory until January 1, 2020.

Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, said in a statement that “this historic act will usher in a new wave of animal rights legislation across the globe.”

Retailers in San Francisco, however, balked at what they called another social mandate at the cost of their ability to make a living.

“It should be a citywide public vote, it shouldn’t be decided by the Board of Supervisors,” said Skip Pas, chief executive officer of West Coast Leather, which sells fur-trimmed items but deals largely in leather.

San Francisco, named for the patron saint of animals, has a reputation for a strong social conscience, often at a cost to businesses.

Katy Tang, the supervisor behind the fur ban legislation, successfully pushed to prohibit performances by exotic animals and to forbid the sale of non-rescue cats and dogs from pet stores.

Mayor Mark Farrell said he plans to sign the legislation.

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