California has become the first state in the country to outright ban the sale, donation, and manufacture of fur products.
CNN reports that the new legislation, which Governor Gavin Newsom signed on Friday, goes into effect on January 1, 2023, and applies to handbags, clothing, shoes, and other items made with animal fur, with violators subject to fines. The ban excludes used fur and taxidermy, in addition to religious items and fur products used by Native American tribes.
The statewide ban comes on the heels of similar bans in Los Angeles and San Francisco. San Francisco moved to ban fur in March 2018; Los Angeles followed suit earlier this year. Berkeley and West Hollywood also have fur bans.
Though the ban is being heralded by animal rights groups, it is noteworthy, as my colleague Maria Sherman pointed out when Los Angeles moved to ban fur, that these anti-fur laws are ratcheting up in the midst of a fashion movement against fur in general. A number of luxury brands have pledged to stop manufacturing fur items in recent years, though whether this is for ethical reasons or capitalistic ones is up for debate, since these brands can charge premiums on faux fur products that cost way less to produce than ones made of real fur. On the other hand, something is better than nothing, even if that something is done for the wrong reasons.
Friday was a big day for anti-animal cruelty, altogether—Newsom also signed legislation banning most animals from circus performances.
“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Newsom said in a statement, according to NBC News. “But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames.”
California is the third state in the county to enact such a ban.
Correction, 12:05 a.m.: This post initially referred to Los Angeles and San Francisco as California’s two most populous cities, even though San Diego and San Jose are more populous than the latter. Jezebel regrets the error.