Breaking news: California leads the nation by banning fur sales, bobcat trophy hunting

By on October 12, 2019 with 27 Comments

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

Moments ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom made history by signing into law two landmark bills: one banning the sale and production of all new fur products in California, and another prohibiting the trophy hunting of bobcats in his state.

California, a trendsetter in animal welfare and in fashion, is the first state in the nation to pass a ban on the sales of fur, and we applaud Gov. Newsom and the state’s lawmakers for recognizing that California citizens do not want their state’s markets to contribute to the demand for fur products. The fur industry causes the suffering and death of more than 100 million animals worldwide each year, and animals on fur factory farms are forced to live in cramped, wire-bottom cages, deprived of the ability to engage in natural behaviors, before being cruelly killed by gassing or electrocution.

The law, which will go into effect in January 2023, is a monumental victory in the Humane Society of the United States’ decades-long campaign to end this cruel and unnecessary trade. Hawaii and New York have introduced similar measures, and we’ll continue working hard with other cities and states to convince them to follow California’s lead.

The other bill Gov. Newsom signed today makes it unlawful to trophy hunt bobcats in the state, although the measure allows the lethal removal of any individual animal posing a danger to humans, endangered and threatened species, or livestock. Other states have passed temporary bans on trophy hunting bobcats after their numbers dropped too low because of hunting, trapping and habitat loss, but the California law goes above and beyond by taking a proactive step to end needless and cruel trophy hunting before the animals are pushed to the verge of extinction.

The law puts bobcats on a small list of protected species in the Golden State, alongside California’s other wildcat, the mountain lion. Bobcats at present face numerous other threats to their survival, like the recent deadly wildfires and urban sprawl. And each year, hundreds of these animals are killed by trophy hunters in California. In fact, over the past decade, trophy hunters have killed more than 10,000 bobcats in the state.

We are thankful to Gov. Newsom for signing these bills and to all the lawmakers who voted for them. Our special thanks to Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove, who authored the legislation on bobcats, as well as the bill’s co-authors, Assemblymembers Richard Bloom, Laura Friedman and Tasha Boerner Horvath, and Senators Ben Allen, Cathleen Galgiani and Anthony Portantino. We are also grateful to Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who introduced the bill on fur sales last December. It had many notable supporters among politicians and the fashion industry, including the California Democratic Party, Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti, the San Diego County Democratic Central Committee, the City of West Hollywood, InStyle magazine, Stella McCartney, DVF-Diane von Furstenberg, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Hugo Boss, Patagonia, H&M, GAP, J.Crew, Madewell, Des Kohan, Hiraeth and Inditex/Zara. Animal protection groups and citizens across the state mobilized in favor of the legislation.

Year after year, California has been the hands-down pace-setter among American states on a number of key animal-related matters, including passing the world’s strongest farm animal protection law, prohibiting the sale of puppy mill dogs in pet stores, banning foie gras, and ending the sales of animal tested cosmetics. For nine consecutive years, it has topped our Humane State report card, which ranks states based on a wide set of animal welfare policies. Today, by speaking out against fur and for bobcats, the Golden State has once again proven why it continues to be our nation’s undisputed leader on animal protection issues.

P.S.: As we celebrate these victories, our thoughts are with the people — and animals — of California who are affected by the wildfires. We are keeping an eye on the situation and will be standing by to assist as needed.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Susan Billinger says:

    Thank you to the Humane Society of the United States and all other organizations and activists who worked so hard to ban cruel fur! This is wonderful news!

    • Helene Slessarev Jamir says:

      Very glad to see that there are strong efforts taking place to end to killing of animals for their fur!!!!

  2. Ewa Urbanski says:

    Es ist an der Zeit aufzuhören de Tiere zu morden damit wir uns mit deren Haut eine Jacke über unsere Körper decken können.Wir sollen aufhören die wunderbaren Tiere ,die immer weniger werden zu quellen, weil wir nicht im Kopf richtig funktionieren und einen Psychiater brauchen!!!!!!!!

  3. Dan Perdios says:

    Hot damn! On to the next state! Is it yours?

  4. Lynn franks says:

    So when I butcher rabbit for meat now am I suppose to throw away the pelt? What a waste. I have always made sure it goes to someone who needs the pelt for warm lining against the elements. I also use the pelts for insulation jill on for outer wear.

  5. Linda Begovich says:

    I want to thank Gov. Newsom and the state’s lawmakers for recognizing that California citizens do not want their state’s markets to contribute to the demand for fur products making it unlawful to trophy hunt bobcats in the state. Finally we have a few politicians who care about animal cruelty and this is rare. Thank you California and of course to The Humane Society of the U.S. for all the hard work you have done. This makes my day.

  6. Michell Weaver says:

    I wish Illinois had a wonderful Governor like California!! God Bless you!!

    • D White says:

      Take him please. Then you can have gas prices 2 times the national average, rampant homelessness, pre-industrial deseases on the rise (typhus, leprosi, and TB), crumbling infrastructure, mega wildfires due to forest mismanagement and the highest cost of living in the country. Good ridance.

    • Loopstah says:

      Please take him away. PLEASE. I’ll gladly pay his airfare.

  7. Jim wheat says:

    Gavin Newsome you are awesome sir….thank you so much for supporting wildlife and Stopping the senseless killing of animals for fur products That are definitely not needed in a Humane Society.

  8. Kim Beach says:

    Thanks to everyone who helped get this signed!!!

  9. Dana says:

    People who wear fur are trash.

  10. Gail Kazmer says:

    Why, oh why, three long years until it goes into effect? Are you kidding me? I have been battling for this my entire life…at least 50 years of it. I am elated, believe me…beyond joy, but I wish I could add relieved to that list! How do we stop the slaughter of the innocents over the next 3 years? Please, people, let’s fight to move up the date and plead to enforce stricter poaching punishments, and let us all keep working…harder than ever to increase and protect the lands they need to survive. Fight for wildlife landbridges across our freeways. Without them, wildlife has no escape from wildfires or access to vital hunting and breeding. Let’s celebrate tonight and keep on fighting the good fight tomorrow!!

  11. Michelle Hiles says:

    I want to thank our governor, The HSUS, and The Humane Legislative Fund for fighting and winning for the sake of our furry critters and bobcats. Your passion for advocating for our precious animals livelihood is palpable. I am so deeply grateful for all that you do for animals!!

  12. Kathleen Diefenbach says:

    I too, would like to thank Gov. Newsom HSUS! So happy with Gov Newsome.

  13. Terry Miller says:

    Thank you Governor Newsom and HSUS!

  14. Fur Forever says:

    I don’t believe the state should be in the business of dictating what we can buy and sell. Fur has been worn for thousands of years, long before synthetic fibers were available. Fur is green, renewable, sustainable, biodegradable, warm, and beautiful.
    The industry the state should ban is the protest industry, specifically the animal-rights protest industry.

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