West Hollywood has passed an ordinance that forbids the sale of fur.
Although this is a small city, a mere 1.9 square miles with about 36 thousand residents, lawmakers hope this will set a national trend.
The ordinance does not include leather and fur used in furniture, the New York Times reports.
“This is a tiny city, so it’s mostly symbolic,” a councilman and the sponsor for the ban said. “I think the impact will be heard from here to Fifth Avenue. People will talk about what a fur ban means in a new way.”
This is not the first time West Hollywood’s city council has used legislation to illuminate social issues. The sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, sale of inexpensive handguns, and cat de-clawing are some of the peculiar bans the council has previously implemented.
While animal rights activists proclaim the ordinance a victory, West Hollywood retailers are anything but thrilled. “It would absolutely diminish the city as a fashion capital,” Genevieve Morrill, president of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said of the ban.
A study by the Fur Information Council of America says 45% of fashion retailers located in West Hollywood sold fur.
“People are still buying fur. If people were not buying it, stores wouldn’t want to sell it. So the animal rights lobby is trying to force through a ban on a legal product,” Keith Kaplan, executive director of the Fur Information Council of America said.
Council members noted that shoppers who want furs can buy as many as they want at boutiques just a few blocks away in Beverly Hills.
But city council members are not influenced. The city is still awaiting a financial impact study before the council takes a final vote in October.