Breaking news: Wellesley, Massachusetts votes to ban fur sales, first U.S. city outside California to do so
Wellesley, Massachusetts, has said a resounding “no” to fur. The town voted 140 to 64 last night (with two abstentions) to pass a ban on new fur sales, proposed by Liza Oliver, a district leader volunteer with the Humane Society of the United States. If the Massachusetts attorney general approves this measure, Wellesley will become the fifth municipality in the country—and the first outside California—to ban fur sales.
Before the state of California passed a ban on fur sales in 2019, four cities in the state, including West Hollywood, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Berkeley, had already banned sales of this product. Like the bans in these cities, the measure in Wellesley, a town just west of Boston, will exempt used fur products, leather and shearling.
The win in Wellesley, often identified as one of the wealthiest towns in the country, is the latest in a recent cascade of victories against fur. Earlier this month we learned that Israel could soon become the first country to ban fur sales, with the country’s environmental protection minister Gila Gamliel calling the industry “immoral.”
Just last month, Nordstrom announced it would end all fur sales by next year, joining Massachusetts-based TJ Maxx and some of the biggest names in fashion, including Prada, Gucci, Michael Kors, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.
The coronavirus pandemic has further strengthened the case for ending fur production, with mink in a number of countries testing positive. The Netherlands announced it would move up by more than two and a half years its deadline to ban mink fur farming, after evidence that mink on fur farms were spreading the virus to humans. Eleven fur farms in the United States, 166 in Denmark, 68 in the Netherlands, and one fur farm each in Spain and in Sweden have reported infected mink. According to recent reports, mink have also tested positive for the virus in Italy, but the government kept this from the public. France announced last month that it will ban all mink fur farming.
As Dr. Gail Hansen of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association recently observed, “we have the very real possibility that farmed mink could be a persistent source for the virus and continued infection in people, posing a significant public health threat.”
Ending fur production and fur sales should be a no-brainer. Millions of animals suffer tremendously for things as frivolous as a pom on a hat or trim on a jacket. As Humane Society International investigations of fur farms have shown, animals bred for their fur live in abject misery and are killed in terribly violent ways. There is no need for this product especially when so many luxurious, manmade alternatives to fur are available. We congratulate the people of Wellesley for taking a decisive step in the right direction and for recognizing that there are humane ways to keep warm.
Learn how to volunteer as a district leader and push for a ban on fur and other animal protection issues in your state.