West Hollywood, CA, United States (AHN) – West Hollywood business leaders warned of the negative impact retail shops in the city that sell fur following the tentative approval last week by the City Council of a ban on the sale of fur. The prohibition makes Hollywood the first city to impose such a ban.
The U.S. fur industry trade group is based in the city and high-end fashion houses along Melrose Avenue, Sunset Strip and Beverly and Santa Monica boulevard carry fur items in their shops.
Keith Kaplan, executive director of the Fur Information Council of America, said the city ordinance throws out of the window efforts by the industry over the past 10 years to establish the city as a high fashion destination.
Despite campaigns by animal-rights groups to ban fur, global sales of fur went up 5.4 percent in 2010, according to the council. Total sales went beyond $14 billion, which reflected the continuous popularity of the fur as a fashion garment or accessory.
Besides the fur council, the Chamber of Commerce and The Avenues – Art, Fashion and Design District, were against the ban because of the city government’s failure to get input from the business community to assess the impact of the ban.
Genevieve Morrill, president and chief executive officer of the chamber said the prohibition is unconstitutional, arbitrary and capricious.
The ban covers sale of apparel made in whole or partly from pelt or skin of animal with hair, wool or fur. The law will take effect June 30, 2012. John D’Amico, the sponsor of the bill which is still subject to final approval, said he hopes other American cities would follow West Hollywood’s example in its bid to halt animal cruelty and slaughter for the fur.
Animal-rights advocates lauded the ban, which is a follow-up to a 1989 city council resolution that proclaimed West Hollywood as a cruelty-free zone for animals and prohibited cosmetic testing on animals and the use of steel leghold traps.
The city banned in 2003 cat declawing and in 2010 the retail sale of cats and dogs.