California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law Saturday banning the sale and manufacture of fur products in his state. This fur ban restricts Californians from selling or making merchandise with fur starting in 2023.
California residents will also be restricted from donating fur products.
According to the New York Times, fur is defined as “animal skin or part thereof with hair, fleece or fur fibers attached thereto.” For the purposes of shoppers, that means mink, sable, chinchilla, lynx, fox, rabbit, beaver, coyote and other luxury furs. Exceptions have been made for cowhide, deerskin, sheepskin and goatskin. Which means that shearling is totally fine. Exceptions have also been made for religious observances (shtreimels, the fur hats often worn by Hasidic Jews, can continue to be sold) and other traditional or cultural purposes.
While animal rights groups cheer for the measure made, the billion-dollar U.S. fur industry and the Fur Information Council of America has already threatened to sue.
States like New York and Hawaii also have a fur ban in the works, but California is the first to take the next step by taking action.
Any retailer who defies this new law, that will be implemented on January 1, 2023, will have to pay $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for offenses thereafter.
“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur. 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,” says Governor Newsom.
Newsom had signed another bill banning most animals from circus performances as well. Domesticated dogs, cats, horses, and rodeos are the exemption to this new bill.