L.A. City Council Moves Forward With Proposal to Ban Sale, Manufacture of Fur Products

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Los Angeles officials on Tuesday voted to advance a proposal banning the sale and manufacture of fur products in the city.

The L.A. City Council unanimously approved a motion to direct the city attorney to draft a law prohibiting fur merchandise, including clothing, shoes, handbags, hats, earmuffs and other accessories.

The council also voted to have the city attorney submit a report on potential exemptions for religious organizations and possible conflicts with federal and state laws.

West Hollywood banned the sale of fur clothing in 2011. But that rule had to be amended to exempt fur from animals lawfully caught under California law, the City Council motion said. The West Hollywood ban also excludes bags and jewelry.

The L.A. city ban would have a phasing-out period of two years after final approval. The City Council did not specify when a final vote would take place.

When that happens, Los Angeles would become the largest city in the U.S. to cut ties with the fur business, said Bob Blumenfield, who submitted the proposal with fellow councilman Paul Koretz.

"The fur industry is one that has consistently been associated with inhumane practices," the motion stated. "Animals who are cultivated solely for their fur spend their lives in cramped cages and are subject to deplorable living conditions."

Ahead of Tuesday's vote, animal rights activists rallied outside City Hall.

"As someone in the fashion industry, there’s so many other options that don’t involve hurting animals," model Joanna Krupa told the crowd.

Advocates cheered inside the City Hall as the council members all voted to move forward with the proposal.

A spokesman for the trade group Fur Information Council of America, however, contended that the motion was based on "lies and false studies," and that a ban could hurt the city economically, the Associated Press reported.

"There's a lot of fur sold in L.A. ... So yes, it will have an impact on jobs, it will have an impact on tax revenues," the group's Keith Kaplan said.

The 2012 economic census reported $360 million in retail sales of "furs and fur garments" in California, according to the City Council motion.

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