U.S. to ban retailers from selling fur

West Hollywood becomes first city in the U.S. to ban retailers from selling fur
By Tamara Abraham

West Hollywood has become the first city in the U.S. to ban the sale of fur.

Sale of new fur is now prohibited within city limits after five City Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the ban.

Thirty citizens spoke in a heated debate that went on until 1.20am yesterday morning, with most describing the often cruel ways in which animals are killed for their pelts.

Fashion limits: J Mendel used fur in its latest collection - but now that West Hollywood has banned the sale of new fur, they will not go on sale there

It faced opposition from several retailers who argued that the ruling could damage their business.

The law is set to take effect from next June, though punishment for those that flout the ban has not yet been determined.

It will not prevent the sale of second-hand and vintage furs, because, the Council decided, it would not prevent the killing of any new animals.

Nor will the ruling stop anyone from wearing clothing made from animal pelts, though given the mild California climate, they are likely to be few and far-between.

Councilman John D’Amico, who sponsored the bill, said that he was thrilled with the result.

He told the West Hollywood Patch: 'My colleagues are really wonderful, thoughtful, humane, socially compassionate legislators. I'm honored to work with them.'

Fur Free West Hollywood campaign organiser Shannon Keith told animal rights group PETA: 'West Hollywood's ordinance banning the sale of fur is a historic step for the rest of the world, as it is the first city in the United States to pass such an ordinance.

Fur real: Rachel Zoe wore a fox coat to Matthew Williamson's
London Fashion Week show on Sunday

'Cities like West Hollywood and communities all around the country are recognizing that the fur trade is barbaric, cruel and not fashionable.'

But Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones believes there is still a long way to go.

She told MailOnline: 'I think this is a good start, but has to be seen in context of the fact that U.S. Marie Claire, which is supposed to be one of the more ethical magazines, has a feature in its current issue extolling the virtue of fur, saying it is "sustainable and natural".

'I don't care, I just care if it is cruel and unnecessary. Rachel Zoe wore fur front row at Matthew Williamson, and as long as stylists like her think it's cool, it will never go out of fashion.'

Indeed, many designers continue to use animal pelts in their shows.

J Mendel, whose New York Fashion Week show was attended by Selma Blair and the Olsen Twins, featured furs in the spring/summer 2012 collection, while Michael Kors and Donna Karan's current lines also feature animal pelts.