Los Angeles to consider banning sale of fur products

FILE - This March 15, 2018, file photo shows a vintage fox trimmed leather dress displayed in the basement of a store in San Francisco. Los Angeles would become the largest city in the U.S. to ban the sale of fur products if the City Council approves a proposed law backed by animal activists who say the multibillion-dollar fur industry is rife with cruelty. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Los Angeles would become the largest city in America to ban the sale of fur products if it approves a proposed law backed by animal activists

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles would become the largest city in the U.S. to ban the sale of fur products if the City Council approves a proposed law backed by animal activists who say the multibillion-dollar fur industry is rife with cruelty.

The council was expected Tuesday to direct the city attorney to draft a law prohibiting the manufacture or sale of fur products in the city. The ban would cover apparel made in whole or in part of fur — including clothing, handbags, shoes, hats, earmuffs, jewelry and keychains. Only used fur products could be sold.

The law would take effect two years after passage. It's unclear when the ordinance might come before the council for a vote.

Councilmen Bob Blumenfield and Paul Koretz submitted the motion.

Neighboring West Hollywood along with Berkeley and San Francisco already have fur bans, although their ordinances differ in some specifics. West Hollywood's law was changed to exempt fur from animals that are legally trapped under state law.

Activists condemn the fur industry as inhumane, contending that the animals are subject to brutal conditions and meet torturous deaths.

Keith Kaplan, spokesman for the Fur Information Council of America, a trade group for manufacturers and fur merchants, denied the accusations and said the City Council motion is being put forward on the basis of "lies and false studies."

A fur ban in the city could have an economic impact, Kaplan said Monday.

"There's a lot of fur sold in LA. It's in over 500 designer collections, it's on shoes, it's on handbags," he said. "So yes, it will have an impact on jobs, it will have an impact on tax revenues."

Retail fur sales globally accounted for $35.8 billion globally and the fur industry employed more than 1 million people in 2014, the latest year that figures were available from the industry, Kaplan said.

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