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SAN FRANCISCO — There is further evidence this week that the tide is turning against the global fur industry with news that San Francisco officials have voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur. This makes it the largest US city to approve a fur ban, following in the footsteps of Californian cities Berkeley and West Hollywood which also prohibit the sale of fur coats and accessories containing real fur.

Notably, a sizeable public backlash – arguably – helped sway officials, with tens of thousands of local people signing a petition in favour of a ban, highlighting the growing impact of social media on modern sustainability and ethical issues.

The ban will take effect on January 1 and applies to apparel and accessories featuring real fur, such as coats, key chains and gloves. An amendment to the ruling will allow retailers to sell current inventory until January 1, 2020. Reselling vintage and used fur by outlets such as secondhand stores, pawn shops and nonprofits, will also be allowed.

Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, has claimed the ban will, “usher in a new wave of animal rights legislation across the globe.”

According to local reports, San Francisco has fur sales of US$40 million a year.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Fur Information Council of America and the International Fur Federation wrote to supervisors before the vote, “seeking to partner with the city to launch a rigorous certification program that it said would ensure animal and environmental health.”

Clothing brands Calvin Klein, Stella McCartney and Gucci have gone fur-free in recent times, and other luxury brands – the apparel segment which has been slowest to act on the fur issue – are now following suit.

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