Wednesday, October 01, 2014 Headlines & Global News

Federal Court Upholds West Hollywood Fur Ban

By Samantha Goodwin | May 08, 2014 07:29 AM EDT

Federal Court Upholds West Hollywood Fur Ban
Federal Court Upholds West Hollywood Fur Ban (Photo : Reuters)

A federal court upheld West Hollywood's fur ban after Mayfair House, a high-end clothing retailer, challenged the ordinance.

Last year, California's West Hollywood became the first and only city in the United States to implement a fur ban.  The law prohibits the sale of any garment made in whole or part from the pelt or skin of an animal with its hair, wool or fur. The ban does not  extend to furniture items, blankets, or leather products.

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Though the city was praised for the initiative it took to promote the humane treatment of animals, many retailers didn't approve of the new-formed law. One such retailer was Mayfair House, a vendor dealing in high-end clothing including fur-lined parkas and shearling gloves and slippers.

The retailer challenged the ordinance, calling it "unconstitutional." In a hearing, U.S. District Judge George H. King in Los Angeles upheld the ban, calling it "legitimate."

"That the city did not choose to completely ban the sale of fur does not interfere with its goal of promoting the humane treatment of animals," the judge said, according to Bloomberg. "The city is free to make incremental change, rather than adopt an entire ban on the sale of fur at once."

Officials of the Humane Society of the United States applauded the ruling and said that it encourages other cities to implement similar prohibitions.

"West Hollywood is one of the nation's most animal-friendly cities - a notion that's just incompatible with the inhumane treatment of fur-bearing animals. We applaud the Court's decision to uphold the City's groundbreaking ordinance," Ralph Henry, deputy director for The HSUS' Animal Protection Litigation Group said in a statement. "The ruling makes clear that the Constitution does not prevent West Hollywood or any other city from using its lawmaking powers to protect animals by prohibiting the sale of cruelly-produced products."

Celebrities Who Wear Fur

Fur continues to remain one of the most popular fashion statements, despite strident anti-fur campaigns. So it comes as no surprise that despite facing the wrath of many animal rights groups, celebrities continue donning fur coats, footwear and other accessories.

If there was a brand ambassador for fur-wearers, Paris Hilton would bag the title, hands down! The actress was named the worst dressed of 2005 by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for wearing the most fur coats than any other celebrity. The animal rights society also labeled her a "heirhead" for saying she's an animal lover, yet wearing their skins on her back.

Jennifer Lopez's "Sweetface" includes a lot of fur items and she takes pride in her high-end clothing line, much to the dismay of opposing organizations. Other celebrities who've been spotted wearing fur include Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Kim Kardashian, Victoria Beckham, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. Last December, Beyonce gave rise to quite a few controversies when she wore fur to a vegan restaurant.

Celebrities Who Protest Fur

Charlize Theron, Pamela Anderson and Paul McCartney's ex-wife, Heather Mills are few celebrities who have been vocal about their disapproval of killing animals in the name of fashion.  

In 1991, PETA launched a "Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" campaign and Belinda Carlisle was the first ambassador of this anti-fur campaign. Shanna Moakler, Susie Castillo, Shandi Finnessey, and Alyssa Campanella - four former Miss USA winners - are the latest addition to the list of celebrities that say no to fur.

Fur Facts

- More than 40 million animals are killed every year in the name of fashion.

- Animals are tortured (beaten, stomped and strangled) to death so that the fur remains undamaged.

- The skin of more than 40 animals is needed to make a single fur coat.

- There is no current law that prohibits the killing of animals that are raised for its fur.

Fur Alternatives

You don't need fur to be fashionable. There are many "cruelty-free" fashion alternatives to fur. Many "go green" companies have begun the manufacturing of synthetic products that look and feel as good as fur. These include standard faux-leather, faux-shearling and imitation sheepskin.

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