How much is that fur coat in the window? Well, soon you might not see one if the West Hollywood City Council passes a revision to its fur ban on Monday night.
The Council will consider banning not only the sale of fur, which it did in 2011, but also banning the display of fur apparel, putting an end to a practice in which some merchants have directed customers to order a fur item in their shops online or go to another shop outside the city limits to make the purchase.
The City Council in 2011 passed a law banning the sale of clothing made in whole or part of fur. That law took effect in September 2013. The ban was promoted by John D’Amico, who was running for election to the City Council. Among D’Amico’s supporters were Animal Alliance California and Ed Buck, a local fur ban advocate. The city became the first in the United States to ban fur apparel. West Hollywood also has banned the retail sale of cats and dogs, and it recognizes their human companions as “guardians” rather than owners. The city has banned “pet rentals,” cat de-clawing and also performances by exotic animals.
The fur sales ban has been especially controversial, with local businesses saying the city has no right to tell them what products they can or cannot sell. West Hollywood’s Design District, which encompasses Beverly and Robertson boulevards and Melrose Avenue, is a fashion hub with boutiques that historically have offered fur products for sale. A 2012 study commissioned by the city found that 16 of 27 businesses responding to a survey said the ordinance would have a negative impact on them.
Mayfair House, a clothing and home furnishings retailer at 8844 Beverly Blvd. near North Clark, has challenged the city’s ban in federal and state courts. Mayfair contends that the ban has had a negative impact on its sale of Uggs, a popular type of boots made of sheep who were slaughtered for their meat and not to fabricate boots.