The ban takes effect January 1, 2019, pending the mayor's approval, and applies to clothing or accessories made in whole or in part from fur, including handbags, shoes, slippers, hats, earmuffs, scarves, shawls, jewelry and more.
According to animal welfare organizations such as In Defense of Animals, it's estimated that over 50 million animals are killed for their fur worldwide every year. The ban was put forward in December of 2017 by San Francisco District Supervisor Katy Tang.
- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the sale of new furs beginning in 2019.
She encouraged the full approval of the entire board stating, "The sale of fur products in San Francisco is inconsistent with the City's ethos of treating all living beings, humans and animals alike, with kindness".
San Francisco has a strong social conscience, often at a cost to businesses.
Humane Society International hailed the vote: "this is an exciting and historic vote both for animals and compassionate consumerism, and we hope that the world is watching".
The ban will take effect on January 1, 2019, and gives furriers and other retailers until January 1, 2020, to sell current items.
The city's Office of the Controller estimated that San Francisco retailers earned almost $11 million in fur sales in 2012, based on the most recently available economic data.
The prohibition will hit retailers large and small, although smaller businesses will probably have a harder time adjusting. The showroom at B.B. Hawk in the South of Market neighborhood features chinchilla, sable, fox, and Blackglama mink. After Tuesday's announcement, San Francisco has become the third city California city to restrict fur sales after Berkeley and West Hollywood.
About 50 clothing and accessory retailers downtown will be affected by the legislation, said Jim Lazarus, senior vice president of public policy at the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. "I will not win".
Tang said last week that while she understands the concerns of the business community, she also believes "we can not turn a blind eye to what is actually going on in terms of fur farming". "I do not have the energy and the money".