California has become the first US state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products.
On October 12, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 44, making it illegal to manufacture, sell, distribute, or even donate, a new fur product in California. The ban applies to:
- Other items that contain animal fur
It does not include:
- Used products
- Products used for religious or tribal purposes
- Dog and cat fur (as defined in Section 1308 of Title 19 of the United States Code, as that section read on January 1, 2020)
- Cowhide, deerskin, sheepskin, goatskin with hair attached
- Products preserved through taxidermy
The bill defines ‘fur’ as any animal skin or part thereof with hair, fleece, or fur fibers attached thereto, either in its raw or processed state. ‘Fur product’ is defined as any article of clothing or covering for any part of the body, or any fashion accessory, including, but not limited to, handbags, shoes, slippers, hats, earmuffs, scarves, shawls, gloves, jewelry, keychains, toys or trinkets, and home accessories and décor, that is made wholly, or in part of fur.
Violation of the law will lead to civil penalties – a $500 fine or up to $1,000 for multiple violations within one year. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
Stakeholders should be aware that fur bans already exist in Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Francisco and West Hollywood. They should also know that Hawaii and New York have proposed similar bans.
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