If the Board of Supervisors approves the ban Tuesday, San Francisco would join two other California cities, West Hollywood and Berkeley, in saying no to a symbol of glamour that animal advocates say is built on cruelty.
"San Francisco has today put itself on the map as a world-leading city in kind, progressive law making", said HSI CEO Kitty Block, hailing the ban "as an exciting and historic vote both for animals and compassionate consumerism".
San Francisco supervisors voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur, further burnishing the city's animal-loving credentials as it becomes the largest USA city to approve the prohibition.
The ban takes effect January 1 and applies to anything featuring real fur, including key chains and gloves. Its board banned the sale of menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco, which voters will consider in June, and prohibited performances by exotic animals.
San Francisco's fur ban is expected to go into place January 1, 2019, and it will apply to anything made with animal fur, including gloves, coats and keychains.
"Standing shoulder to shoulder with some of the most influential designers in the world, San Francisco is showing that animal fur is a fashion faux-pas that trend-setting San Franciscans simply will not tolerate", Claire Bass of the Humane Society UK noted. "The vast majority of British people feel the same, and our campaign for a nationwide ban on the sale of fur in gaining momentum in the UK".
"It is estimated that around the world some 50 million animals are slaughtered in gruesome ways so that we can wear their fur", Supervisor Katy Tang- the ban's author- told the San Francisco Chronicle. Reselling vintage and used fur by outlets not usually in the business of trading fur, such as secondhand stores, pawn shops and nonprofits, will still be allowed. The city's Office of Economic Analysis estimated fur sales at $11 million in 2012, based on census figures.
Lazarus called the amendment helpful, but said the Chamber had asked that retailers be given more time to adjust and find new products to make up for the loss in sales. The showroom at B.B. Hawk in the South of Market neighborhood features chinchilla, sable, fox, and Blackglama mink.
But the move to ban fur sales in San Francisco was met with resistance from the city's business community.
"I can not fight it", he said when asked about the ban.
The city says even if sales numbers are much higher than its estimate a prohibition is unlikely to significantly harm the overall local economy. "I do not have the energy and the money".