San Francisco becomes Major U.S. City to Approve Ban on Fur Sales

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San Francisco becomes major U.S. city to approve ban on fur sales, a move that would prohibit clothing items and products that contain real animal fur.

On Tuesday, Board of Supervisors voted on legislation that restricts the sale of fur accessories and clothes like coats, key chains, and gloves.

The ban will take effect on January 1, 2019, and gives furriers and other retailers until January 1, 2020, to sell current items. After Tuesday’s announcement, San Francisco has become the third city California city to restrict fur sales after Berkeley and West Hollywood.

“It is estimated that around the world some 50 million animals are slaughtered in gruesome ways so that we can wear their fur and look fashionable,” said Supervisor Katy Tang. “My hope is that it will send a strong message to the rest of the world.”

Retailers in the city’s fashionable Union Square district expressed frustrated response after Tuesday’s vote. The executive director of the Union Square Business Improvement District, Karen Flood said that the decision will have a higher impact on their business. It has also hurt small businesses.

Union Square includes at least 50 furriers. According to the Chamber of Commerce, city’s fur sales are estimated at an annual $40 million.

Fur showroom’s owner, Benjamin Lin said stressed that he will keep his current location but start selling fur somewhere outside the San Francisco at a smaller place. He said of the ban, “I cannot fight it.” “I will not win. I do not have the energy and the money.”