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Protesters Hired To Oppose Proposed Law Banning Animal Fur Sales

SACRAMENTO (KPIX 5) -- California might soon be the first state in the nation to ban the sale of fur, but only if paid fake protesters don't convince lawmakers otherwise.

The environmental activist group Direct Action Everywhere has obtained documents that indicate opponents of AB 44 were paid to show up to public meetings in Sacramento. Performers were asked to say they support the sale of fur.

DXE obtained a contract that offers $175 per appearance. The contract also includes a non-disclosure agreement.

Two of the people who say they support fur sales were also found on Facebook recruiting opponents saying, "Anyone in LA down to make an easy $100 this Tuesday in Sacramento and fight tyranny?"

The business of paid protesting is growing. An organization called Crowds on Demand advertises paid actors who will attend political rallies, or union bargaining events.

"It's terrifying what money can buy, it can buy peoples voices and concerns so we need these real grass roots supporters to show up, get active and speak out," said Cassie King, an activist with Direct Action Everywhere.

She rescued her pet bunny Mable from a fur farm last year and regularly attends public meetings in Sacramento to support AB 44.

"I was part of a team of DXE investigators who went on to a California fur farm and documented conditions. We found Mable there. They'll use bunny fur to line gloves, trivial things that animals should not die for," King said.

If AB 44 passes, it would go into effect in 2022.

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