California first state to ban fur sales and production

Signal file photo of the state's Capitol building in Sacramento
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Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed Assembly Bill 44 into law, which bans the sale or manufacturing of fur products in California effective Jan. 1, 2023.

By doing so, California has become the first state to fully outlaw fur statewide.

“Wearing real fur has been frowned upon in California for decades and now faux fur products are so close to the real thing that it is hard to tell the difference,” said State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, who voted in favor of the bill by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale.

In recent years, Wilk has authored a couple of bills aimed at protecting animals in order to ensure they aren’t exploited and are treated fairly, he said. “Polling shows Californians overwhelmingly supported the ban, many of my constituents voiced their support and, let’s be honest, it isn’t as if we live in a climate where the only thing that would keep you warm is a fur.”

The law says a “fur product” covers any article of clothing or fashion accessory as well as home decor, such as handbags, hats, jewelry, keychains, toys or trinkets.

“We applaud the author of AB 44 and her noble efforts to advance the humane treatment of animals,” said George Andrews, a spokesman for Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, who voted “no” on the bill. “We would have preferred the bill to focus on deterrents rather than an outright ban because it would naturally expand the black market.”

Andrews also suggests more needs to be focused on creating biodegradable fur alternatives.

Violators of the new law could face civil and criminal penalties of six months in jail and/or fines up to $1,000, which would then be donated to the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.

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