A New York state lawmaker has introduced legislation that would implement a statewide ban on the sale of fur.
Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) introduced the bill earlier this week, stating that the fur trade is falling out of favor as consumers become more aware of the treatment of animals, the New York Post reports. Rosenthal is a dedicated animal rights activist who also introduced a bill to ban the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in pet shops earlier this month.
“Increasingly, consumers are looking to make ethical and sustainable purchases — fur is neither of those,” Rosenthal said. “The fur trade has at its core a violence toward animals that is antithetical with our modern views on animals as human companions and sentient beings.”
The bill has already received pushback. “This legislation is following the animal rights handbook. They want to eliminate all animal use,” Steve Cowit, co-owner of Cowit Furs & Madison Avenue Furs, told the publication. “They’ll be going to go after meat from chicken and cows next.”
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“Fur farms across the United States raise animals like raccoons, foxes, mink, and chinchillas to kill for their fur, often using cruel and inhumane methods,” states Rosenthal’s assembly bill.
It’s estimated that around 100 million animals are bred and killed on fur farms each year, according to animal rights nonprofit Humane Society International. Animals are typically confined to small, cramped wire cages, and deprived of natural behaviors. This has an averse effect of the animals’ mental state: self-mutilation and stereotypic behaviors such as pacing are common. Before most animals are one-year-old, they are killed for their fur via gassing, electrocution, or bludgeoning.
The NY bill follows in the footsteps of California legislation introduced earlier this month, which would make it the first state to ban the sale of fur. Several cities throughout the state have already passed similar legislation. LA became the largest US city to pass a fur sale ban last February, which will go into effect in 2021. Exemptions include second-hand fur and pelts obtained legally through a trapping license. San Francisco, Berkeley, and West Hollywood have similar bans in place.
If passed, the NY would implement a statewide fur sale ban by 2021.