Which U.S. City Just Made History By Banning the Sale of Fur?

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San Francisco made headlines last week after becoming first major U.S. city to ban the sale of fur, on the heels of similar legislation in Berkeley and West Hollywood. Besides burnishing the Golden City’s animal-friendly credentials – in 2017, San Francisco also banned the sale of non-rescue dogs and cats in local shelters – the unanimous city board decision feels somewhat inevitable. After all, the Golden City’s namesake saint, Francis, is also patron saint of animals and ecology.

The animal-friendly mandate won’t apply just to coats and clothing, but also to accessories like gloves and key chains, even though regulations won’t take full effect until January 1 of next year. Furriers with large inventories will be allowed an extra year to sell off existing stock, and anyone selling vintage fur will also earn a pass.

The city’s decision also feels in vogue with high fashion’s recent animal-friendly awakening, which hopefully signifies a shift towards more conscientious fashion. After a refreshingly fur-free fashion week, Donatella Versace announced that she’s no longer interested in killing animals in the name of haute couture. High-end designers like Stella McCartney, Gucci, Michael Kors and Tom Ford have also made similar moves.

The ban is predicted to bring about a loss of $40 million dollars – not chump change, but also not one of the city’s major revenue streams. And while the 50 or so affected retailers aren’t rejoicing, animal-advocates everywhere are touting San Francisco’s latest move as a historic victory for animal rights.

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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