Friedman’s Fur Ban Clears Major Hurdle in State Senate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Blake Dellinger
September 3, 2019
SACRAMENTO – On Friday, animal welfare advocates and opponents of the fur trade won a significant victory as landmark legislation banning fur in California passed a key vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee. The measure, Assembly Bill 44, by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), would implement a statewide prohibition on the sale and manufacture of new fur products in California. If successful, it would make California the first state in the nation to ban fur.
“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.”
AB 44 would make it unlawful to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, give donate or otherwise distribute a fur product in the state. The prohibition would apply to clothing, handbags, shoes, slippers, hats, or key chains that contain fur and provides for a civil penalty for each violation. The bill exempts leather, cowhide, and shearling, as well as fur products used for religious purposes. The bill also has provisions that exempt taxidermy products, fur from an animal lawfully taken with a hunting license, and used fur.
AB 44 has garnered resounding, bipartisan support in the legislature; in May it passed the Assembly on a vote of 52-16. Friday’s 4-1 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee sends it to a vote on the Senate Floor. The bill must clear the legislature before the September 13th deadline.
The measure has become a rallying point for advocates across the state, and has even drawn vocal support from public figures including actress Maggie Q, tattoo artist and entrepreneur Kat Von D, fashion icon Tim Gunn, and prominent clothing brands such as Hugo Boss. Many of these advocates joined Assemblymember Friedman for a press conference in West Hollywood in August.
“On Friday, lawmakers advanced a bill that will put an end to the suffering of countless animals due to the senseless cruelty of the fur industry,” said Marc Ching, founder of Animal Hope in Legislation. “We are one step closer to being the most compassionate state in America. Fur has no place in our society - and California is leading the movement by advancing AB 44.”
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds the California Senate Appropriations Committee for passing Assembly Bill 44,” said PJ Smith, Director of Fashion Policy at HSUS. “We look forward to California becoming the first state to ban the sale of cruel fur products and solidifying its position as the most humane state in the nation.”
If signed into law, the bill will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
Laura Friedman represents the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.