A fur industry group has filed a federal lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco over its ban on real fur products which took effect January 1. The suit calls the ban "so arbitrary as to be ridiculous," and says it is a violation of the Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit was just filed by the London-based International Fur Federation, which seeks to overturn San Francisco's ban, which was passed in 2018. As the California Globe reports, the industry group accused former SF Supervisor Katy Tang of trying to "legislate morality" with the ban, and compared SF's ban to "the radical animal liberation group PETA [who] believe the sale of leather, wool, and other animal products should also be banned."
SF's ban precedes by a few years a statewide ban on the sale and manufacture fur products that Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law last year, which goes into effect on January 1, 2023, as well as a similar Los Angeles city law that takes effect next January.
As the Sacramento Bee reports, the Fur Federation points to San Francisco's own environmental priorities as being contradictory to the promotion of faux fur products — since faux fur tends to made with fossil-fuel-derived plastics.
San Francisco City Attorney spokesman John Coté issued a statement in response to the fur industry's suit saying that the city plans to vigorously defend its fur ban in court, and "San Francisco’s legislative leaders have made it clear that this city does not condone killing millions of animals a year in fur farms to make a fashion statement."
California became the first state to enact a ban on fur when AB44 was signed into law in October, and San Francisco was the first major city to enact such a ban when that ordinance passed two years ago. The same month that California's ban was signed, Macy's and its subsidiary Bloomingdale's announced that they would be ending all fur sales as of 2021.
San Francisco's last dedicated fur retailer, B.B. Hawk, closed its local store in 2018 following the passage of the local ban and relocated to Dallas.