This fur-lined denim jacket is one of the most popular items at Malibu Fashions & POSH II, the last furrier in Fresno County.
Written by THE BUSINESS JOURNAL STAFF
After clearing an expected stall in the California legislature, a bill to ban fur in the state now heads to the Senate for a full vote.
Authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), AB 44 would make the manufacturing, sale and distribution of fur products illegal, carving out exemptions for leather, cowhide, wool and fur used for religious purposes. It also exempts used fur and fur taken from animals legally hunted, according to a press release from Friedman’s office.
“California has a history of being a world leader on animal welfare issues, a point that voters have made time and again,” said Assemblymember Friedman. “Given the industry’s reliance on practices that are inherently cruel, and with so many alternatives to the use of fur, there is no place for fur in a sustainable and humane future. I’m grateful to my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee for agreeing with us and taking a principled stance for our animals.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee suspended the bill for additional analysis due to its projected cost.
To enforce the bill, the Department of Fish and Wildlife would have to create four new positions with an initial cost of $853,000, according to documents by the Appropriations Committee. In following years, the cost would be $750,000 annually.
Bill analysis stated that revenue loss from sales tax would be “likely minor,” as would fees collected from permit applications.
Estimates from the Fur Information Council of America estimate the fur industry makes up $300 million annually in the state.
Opponents of the bill had hoped that legislators would amend the bill by negotiating with industry representatives for animal welfare, according to Keith Kaplan, director of communications for the Fur Council. Today is the last day to amend legislation.
If approved by the Senate, the bill would have to be passed again by the Assembly by the Sept. 13 deadline and the governor would have to sign or veto the bill by Oct. 13.
On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, banning the trapping of animals for their fur.