Berkeley Council have voted to ban sales of fur within city limits in a bid to help end the fur industry’s exploitation of animals.
Berkeley Council have voted on a fur ban designed “to promote community awareness of animal welfare.” The ban was organised by the Berkeley Coalition for Animals, who worked with Direct Action Everywhere to organise the activists behind it.
Councilman Worthington brought forward the fur ban to “foster a consciousness about the way we live in the world and create a more humane environment in the City of Berkeley.” According to his agenda item, which cites the Free Fur Berkeley (FFB) website, more than 30 million animals are killed each year for their fur.
“These animals are often victims of cruel conditions that include ‘intense stress, distressed and repetitive movement, self-mutilation, and even cannibalism,’” he wrote, citing the FFB website. “With the availability of countless varieties of adequate fabrics, there is no need for this brutal industry.”
“Although virtually no Berkeley businesses sponsor the fur industry’s exploitation, this proposed law would ensure they never do,” Worthington wrote.
No one from the public spoke against the fur ban.
“It’s time for Berkeley to stand up and set an example for the world,” one woman told officials.
Said another, “I moved to Berkeley because this is a city with a culture of compassion.… Animals’ voices are so often silenced. And they have voices.”
According to the ordinance, “The City Council finds that animals who are slaughtered for their fur, whether they are raised on a fur farm or trapped in the wild, endure tremendous suffering. Animals raised on fur farms typically spend their entire lives in cramped and filthy cages. Fur farmers typically use the cheapest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gas and poison.”
The city initially had included a carve-out for non-profits in the ordinance, but removed that at the time of the vote. The only remaining exceptions are for animal pelts or skins preserved through taxidermy, and used fur products found at second-hand stores and pawn shops.