WeHo To Say Farewell to Fur

City leaders voted to adopt a fur ban Monday that prohibits businesses from selling clothing and accessories with animal fur

If West Hollywood hasn’t done enough to establish itself as an animal rights leader, its city council -- the same one that banned most animals from being sold at pet stores last year -- sealed the title Monday evening.

West Hollywood city leaders heard a second reading of a city ordinance that would prohibit the sale of fur apparel products within city limits.

The council, in a 3-1 vote, adopted the ordinance that is set to take effect in September 2013, according to city leaders.

In a 3-1 vote earlier this month, West Hollywood leaders voted for a third time to adopt the ban, making it the first city in the nation to do so.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, commonly known as PETA, applauded West Hollywood calling it “just the latest compassionate action for the city” in a message on its website.

Since the city’s last vote, opponents of the ban, mostly business leaders in West Hollywood, have called and written to Mayor John Duran, urging him and his colleagues to reconsider passing the ban, according to West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President Genevieve Morrill.

“They hear it, but they are just ignoring it,” said Morrill, who called the fur ban “an extremist approach” fueled by politics.

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Morrill believes city leaders are voting in favor of the ban to fulfill campaign promises to anti-fur advocates, instead of listening to business owners who said the fur ban would mean lost business.

”We had one retailer who said she found a location in Beverly Hills and she’s moving,” Morrill said earlier this month. “We talked with two other businesses who said they would have never opened in West Hollywood if they knew the ban was coming.”

Under the ordinance, retailers in West Hollywood will be prohibited from selling clothing items and accessories with animal fur. The ban does not apply to thrift stores, non-profit groups and furniture items. After the first reading, however, the ban was extended to include hats, gloves, scarves and shoes with fur.

After Councilman John D’Amico first introduced the ban in May, the Fur Information Council of America released a study showing that out of 209 clothing apparel businesses in the city, 91 of them sold clothing or accessories with animal fur.

West Hollywood Mayor John Duran, who voted in favor of the ban earlier this month, said he had never seen FICA’s economic impact study.

Duran asked the city manager to come back with an economic impact report. It was not clear whether he had received the report before Monday’s meeting.

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