California governor signs fur sales, circus performance bans | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World

California governor signs fur sales, circus performance bans

Associated Press
1799607_web1_1799607-98d99bb2e16a486a87064bea41e051ca
AP
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, seated hands Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, second from right, a copy of his bill that Newsom signed at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California will ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products and bar most animals from circus performances under a pair of bills signed Saturday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Under the first-in-the-nation fur law, residents will no longer be able to sell or make clothing, shoes or handbags made of fur starting in 2023. California is the third state to ban most animals from circus performances, joining New Jersey and Hawaii.

Animal rights groups cheered the fur ban as a stand against inhumane practices. The proposal was vigorously opposed by the billion-dollar U.S. fur industry, and the Fur Information Council of America has already threatened to sue.

It follows Newsom’s signing of legislation that makes California the first state to outlaw fur trapping, and follows bans on sales of fur in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The new doesn’t apply to used fur products or fur used for religious or tribal purposes. And it excludes the sale of leather, dog and cat fur, cowhides, deer, sheep and goat skin and anything preserved through taxidermy.

It could mark a significant blow to the fur industry that makes products from animals including mink, chinchillas, rabbits and other animals. The U.S. retail fur industry brought in $1.5 billion in sales in 2014, the most recent data available from the Fur Information Council.

Fashion designers including Versace, Gucci and Giorgio Armani have stopped or say they plan to stop using fur.

Under the new California law there is a fine of up to $1,000 for multiple violations.

“Given the overwhelming evidence of inhumane practices in the fur industry and the availability of so many different options for warm and fashionable fabrics, we will not continue to be complicit in unnecessary cruelty,” Democratic Assemblywoman Laura Friedman said when she introduced the bill.

Animal rights groups have said animals may be subject to gassing, electrocution and other inhumane actions to obtain their fur.

Opponents of the legislation have said it could create a black market and be a slippery slope to bans on other products.

The ban is part of a “radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step to other bans on what we wear and eat,” spokesman Keith Kaplan of the fur information council said in a prior statement. He further said fake fur is not a renewable or sustainable options.

The circus performance bill, meanwhile, exempts domesticated dogs, cats and horses and does not apply to rodeos.

Circuses have been declining in popularity for decades. The most well-known act, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, closed in 2017 after 146 years of performances.

State officials say at least two circuses that include live animals were scheduled to perform in California this year. At least 18 circuses don’t use animals, including Cirque du Soleil.

At first, critics warned the proposal was too broad and would impact county fairs, wildlife rescues or rehabilitation organizations. In response, lawmakers narrowed the definition of circus to include “a performance before a live audience in which entertainment consisting of a variety of acts such as acrobats, aerialists, clowns, jugglers, or stunts is the primary attraction or principal business.”

The law includes penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each violation.

Democratic Sen. Ben Hueso authored the law, arguing that wild animals in circuses endure cruel training and near-constant confinement.

“We cannot allow this type of abuse to occur in California,” Hueso said, according to a legislative analysis of the proposal that eventually became law.

The Southwest California Legislative Council opposed the law, arguing it will prevent people from being able “to experience the thrill of a circus performance featuring beautiful, well cared for animals.”

Categories: Business | Wire stories
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.