Hawaii To Ban The Fur-Trade

New Bill Seeks To Make The Import, Export, And Sale of Fur-Products Unlawful

Mink fur-farming. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur, We Animals

01–24–2019: Senate Bill №1350, which seeks to outlaw the distribution and sale of fur products in the State of Hawaii, is officially introduced.

One day after the initial reading of Senate Bill №1350, Fur Free Society, Inc.—who has been working directly with the bill’s sponsor, Senator Mike Gabbard, since last year—released a statement publicly thanking the State of Hawaii and Senator Gabbard for officially introducing their new anti-fur trade bill to the state Senate.

Fur Free Society, Inc. would like to congratulate the State of Hawaii for introducing “A Bill For An Act Relating to Animal Fur Products” (S.B. №1350) to “prohibit the manufacture or sale of certain animal fur products in the State [of Hawaii]…” [NewsWire.com]

The language of the bill is plain, practical, and concise; and—more importantly—it is just.

The first page of the bill focuses largely on the history and inhumanity of the fur trade. It then goes on to note the dangerous chemicals and environmentally-damaging byproducts associated with the fur farming industry; a topic lectured on by Fur Free Society board member, Kimberly Moore, at the Oxford University School of Ethics.

“[T]he passage of the bill would make Hawaii the first state to go fur-free.” (“First State To Ban Fur.” Katie Valentine. Lady Freethinker)

The bill’s second and third pages make note of the insufficient regulations and general lack-of-oversight imposed on the fur industry as a whole.

“While licenses may be required for farms, there are exemptions from both the Animal Welfare Act and the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, and there are few other laws in place to protect them from cruelty or inhumane living conditions.” (“First State To Go Fur Free.” Alicia Graef. Care2)

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The introduction of this bill alone, while not yet passed into law, is an important step towards bringing awareness and reform to the often scant protections afforded to our world’s animal and wildlife populations.

The State of Hawaii is not alone in its efforts—they fight alongside many cities, states, countries, and organizations worldwide who are all working together to bring about the dissolution of the fur trade.

On Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 The Humane Society announced that the city of San Fransisco’s Board Of Supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur within their city limits. The ban took effect on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 and San Francisco is now the largest city in the United States to ban the sale of fur.

“Fur sales have been outlawed in Berkeley, California, since 2017 and West Hollywood, California, since 2013.” (“San Fransciso Ban.” HuffPost.)

On Monday, December 3rd, 2018 California Assembly Member Laura Friedman introduced Assembly Bill №44; a bill that would:

“[M]ake it unlawful to sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, give, donate, or otherwise distribute a fur product, as defined, in the state [of California]. The bill would also make it unlawful to manufacture a fur product in the state.” (https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov)

As legislators and citizens of the State of California work to ban the fur trade alongside Hawaii, the city of Los Angeles is making great strides towards solidifying a fur-ban within their own city limits.

The Los Angeles fur-ban ordnance, authored by Councilman Bob Blumenfield, would go into effect in 2021. However, because the initial vote on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 was not unanimous, the ordnance must be voted on by the council a second time before going to Mayor Eric Garcetti for his signature. (“Biggest City To Ban Fur.” Los Angeles Times.)

Despite this minor setback, council member Bob Blumenfield remains optimistic stating that, “This arcane and inhumane practice must end and today we said loud and clear, fur will not have a future in Los Angeles. I am proud that our city made a giant step in ending the unnecessary killing of animals but we must continue towards finally eliminating this vile market.”

Many major fashion companies have also agreed to stop using animal furs, including household names like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger. (Source: Ecorazzi)

“Fur-bearing animals suffer terribly on fur farms and in traps. In recent years, more and more designers, including: Versace, Coach, and Burberry, have pledged to stop using fur. Countries including Belgium, Luxembourg, and others have banned fur farming, with many more countries introducing bills to do the same.” (WorldAnimalNews.com)

The State of Hawaii—backed by many of its own citizens, its state legislators, and the global animal rights community—is now effectively in position to lead the United States in banning the fur trade from its borders.