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Los Angeles City Council unanimously approves motion to ban fur sales

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously on a motion to draft an ordinance that would prohibit the manufacturing and sales of fur products. But used fur coats and other items would not be included in the ban. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The city of Los Angeles could soon become the largest city in the U.S. to ban the sale of new fur products, The Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously on a motion to draft an ordinance that would prohibit the manufacturing and sales of fur products.

“This is something that is not just a good legislative win, it’s a moral win,” Councilman Bob Blumenfield said, according to the AP. “We feel like we’re evolving as a city as people to stop this kind of unnecessary cruelty.”

Once the city attorney has prepared the legislation, it must be presented to the council for final approval. The ban would go into effect two years after it's passed.

The motion was submitted by Councilmen Blumenfield and Paul Koretz.

What items would be included in the ban?

The ban would include clothing, handbags, shoes, hats, earmuffs, jewelry and keychains that are made of fur in whole or part.

“There’s nothing humane about raising an animal and killing it for unnecessary vanity,” Koretz said.

Used animal fur items would not be included in the ban.

The council directed the city attorney Mike Feuer to consider how fur apparel is used by religious organizations. It may include possible exemptions, according to the report.

Feuer was also directed to determine potential conflicts with federal and state laws relating to the sale of fur products made from legally trapped animals.

What do ban supporters say?

Christina Sewell, campaign manager at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, told the AP that the ban is part of a national movement to stop the fur industry's allegedly unethical practices.

“Millions of these animals are killed in the fur industry every year, and we’re just slowly chipping away at this progress here in the United States, and we won’t stop until every city in the U.S. is completely fur-free,” Sewell said.

Some cities, including West Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco, have already passed similar laws.

In March, San Francisco became the first major city to ban fur products. The law will go into effect Jan. 1, according to USA Today.

Some fashion companies such as Michael Kors, Armani, and Gucci have already stopped using animal furs in their lines.

What do opponents say?

Keith Kaplan, a spokesman for the Fur Information Council of America, said the council's motion was based on lies and false studies. FICA is a trade group for fur manufacturers and merchants.

“There’s a lot of fur sold in L.A. It’s in over 500 designer collections, it’s on shoes, it’s on handbags,” Kaplan said during a news conference. “So yes, it will have an impact on jobs, it will have an impact on tax revenues.”

The fur industry worldwide has been valued at more than $40 billion, according to Fur Commission USA data. The trade employs more than $1 million workers globally.

What else?

Koretz agreed that the ban would disrupt the fashion industry, but added that the two-year phaseout would allow for an easier transition, the AP reported.

“It’s overdue, and we have to do it today, and I think we will set an example for the rest of the country and the rest of the world,” Koretz said.

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