On January 1 2023, California’s historic ban on the sale and manufacturing of new animal fur products took effect, making California the first state in the USA to take this action against the cruel and unnecessary fur trade.
The bill, AB44, was authored by state assembly member Laura Friedman, and applies to all new clothing, handbags, shoes and other items made with fur. Those found breaking the law could face a fine of $500 (£395) or in repeat cases, $1,000. Each fur item sold could be treated as a separate violation.
“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Gov Newsom said in a statement when the bill passed.
“We’ve known from people who’ve gone undercover for years in the fur industry that it is impossible to be assured of humanely raised fur,” said Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale (Los Angeles County), who carried the bill.
The tactics of the fur industry were exposed as they desperately tried to undermine the law, when it was revealed that corporate interests paid people off to help kill the bill. They also tried to pay a high school activist to publicly oppose a bill banning fur products in California— but instead, she blew the whistle.
“They told me I could get paid to pretend to be a grassroots opponent of the fur ban, even after I told them that I don’t oppose it,” she said.
There were also posts on Facebook also promised “an easy $100” fighting tyranny, that were created by Andrew DiGiovanna, who verbally opposed the bill during public hearings- actually a ploy to get people to pose a grassroots organization opposing the fur ban.
The Fur Council of America reported spending more than $100,000 on lobbying efforts between January and June 2019.