LOS ANGELES, CA- Today the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously for Councilmember Bob Blumenfield’s motion to ban the manufacture and sale of new fur products throughout Los Angeles. This motion, co-presented by Councilmember Paul Koretz and seconded by Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, will take effect two years after the adoption of the ordinance and will specifically prohibit the sale of new products made in whole or in part of fur, such as fashion accessories.
“It’s 2018, there’s no excuse for being complicit in this inhumane and unnecessary trade. With this vote we are telling the world that Angelenos care about animal welfare, “said Blumenfield. “Thanks to Councilmember Paul Koretz and Marc Ching from Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation for partnering in this effort and helping galvanize so many voices. We will continue to be a leader in animal welfare efforts and must work with other Cities and States until this vile practice is ended across our nation.”
Before the Council meeting, Blumenfield, Koretz, animal welfare activists, and celebrities including Tony Kanal of No Doubt, actresses Joanna Krupa and Maggie Q led a press conference and rally to support the legislation. Marc Ching, founder and CEO of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, was instrumental in helping Blumenfield craft the legislation and spoke on the importance of banning the arcane fur trade in Los Angeles.
“We are excited to bring to end a cruel and inhumane practice. LA has been a leader on humane issues and this is a great next step in that arena,” stated Councilmember Koretz. “We appreciate Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Marc Ching and his Animal Hope & Wellness organization, for their leadership on this issue. We think we've also been as reasonable as possible by accommodating the fur industry allowing the fur retailers to phase out their inventory. We hope that by being the largest City in the US to ban fur that we help set a tone for the rest of the country to join in.”
Marc Ching said, "Los Angeles has taken an ethical and moral stand that cruelty to animals is not acceptable. The fur ban is not just about creating an awareness about animal welfare -- it is about creating a more humane community, about being in line with this city's values."
“It is unconscionable to ‘harvest’ and market real fur products knowing the unspeakable horrors these poor animals go through for the sake of vanity," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, who during his first term in office played a significant role in banning the use of bull hooks, as well as animal traps and snares that maim or kill. "I commend my colleague Councilmember Blumenfield for taking this bold action. As usual, Los Angeles is leading the way on animal rights issues."
“Animals who live on fur farms spend their entire lives in cages and suffer some of the most brutal deaths, just so people can wear something they feel is fashionable,” said musician and activist Tony Kanal. “I believe Los Angeles, and the people that live in this city are ready to go fur free. As a culture, compassion comes before everything.”
More than fifty million animals including foxes, chinchilla, minks, raccoons, dogs and rabbits are killed for their fur every year. According to the World Society for the Protection of Animals, eighty-five percent of these animals are raised and killed on factory fur farms. The fur industry is one that has consistently been associated with inhumane practices. Most animals who are cultivated solely for their fur spend their lives in cramped cages, subject to deplorable living conditions. These animals are then killed in inhumane ways to preserve the quality of the pelt above all else. Common practices include gassing, electrocution, suffocation and neck breaking. Electrocuting fur-bearing animals anally and genitally is a slaughter method used frequently in the industry to limit damage to the fur. Currently, in California cities such as West Hollywood, Berkeley and San Francisco have adopted similar bans on the sale of fur products.
Considering the widely available alternatives, Blumenfield strongly believes that the demand for fur products does not justify the unnecessary killing and the cruel treatment of fur-bearing animals. As more cities and countries pass restrictive legislation, more companies will stop using fur and alternatives will continue to improve. Additionally, the Southern California climate doesn't justify fur and as the fashion and creative capital of Western United States, many talented designers have already begun transitioning from fur clothing and accessories. Most recently, fashion companies such as Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Burberry Versace and Gucci have made commitments to remove fur from their line of products.
Blumenfield has been an animal welfare advocate throughout his career and has authored many pieces of humane legislation on both the state and local levels. Recently Blumenfield authored a motion called “Cruelty-Free Los Angeles” which will ensure that the City of Los Angeles only purchases supplies such as cleaning products and hand soaps that are free from animal testing.