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California becomes first state to ban the sale of new fur products

California bans sale, manufacture of fur

California is now the first state to prohibit the sale and manufacture of new fur products under a bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Saturday. Newsom also signed a new law prohibiting the trophy hunting of bobcats in the state and banning the use of certain wild animals in circuses.  

The new fur law makes it illegal to manufacture, sell or distribute a fur product in the state. It applies to clothing, handbags, shoes, slippers, hats or key chains that contain fur — providing a civil penalty for violation. The law has a few exceptions, including the use of fur products for religious purposes and taxidermy.

"California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur," Newsom said in a statement. "But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames. Just YouTube the videos showing the cruel way these animals – often stripped from their mothers as babies – are trained to do dangerous tricks. It's deeply disturbing."

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the fur industry contributes to the suffering and death of more than 100 million animals worldwide each year. 

The law won't take effect until January 2023. Hawaii and New York have introduced similar legislation, and may soon follow Newsom's lead. 

Newsom also signed four other bills into law to expand animal rights in the state. AB-1254 bans the trophy hunting, trapping or killing of bobcats, adding them to the list of protected species in the state. In 2025, the state plans to implement a bobcat management plan to protect the species. 

"Other states have passed temporary bans on trophy hunting bobcats after their numbers dropped too low because of hunting, trapping and habitat loss, but the California law goes above and beyond by taking a proactive step to end needless and cruel trophy hunting before the animals are pushed to the verge of extinction," Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States and CEO of Humane Society International, said in a statement. 

Newsom also signed SB-313, a groundbreaking law banning the use of elephants, bears, tigers, monkeys and other wild animals in circuses. AB-128 protects California's wild and domestic horses from slaughter, and AB-1260 adds iguanas, skinks, caimans, hippopotamuses and three types of lizards to the import and trade prohibition of dead animals. 

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