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West Hollywood bans sale of fur clothing

September 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The city of West Hollywood has approved a ban on the sale of fur clothing. It's a big win for animal rights activists and the first ordinance of its kind in the U.S.

Councilmember John D'Amico spearheaded the campaign. At a city council meeting that lasted 7 hours, members unanimously approved an ordinance that would ban the sale of clothing made of fur, wool and animal hair.

"You've got to start banning cruelty, you've got to start banning horrors that are happening to these animals just for the name of vanity or profit," said Chris DeRose, founder and president of Last Chance for Animals.

Others aren't happy about the ban, saying it takes away freedom of choice.

"It's a matter of choice. And in this case, it's a matter of a city sticking to the initial principles of the founding fathers of the city, and it's a matter of democratic process," said Keith Kaplan, executive director of the Fur Information Council of America.

Those who are against the ban said there will be a significant economic impact. The ban does not extend to leather products.

The city council will meet again in two weeks to hammer out some details, including when the ban will go into effect and what the penalties would be if the ban is violated.

West Hollywood has a longstanding reputation of being animal-friendly. The city has already banned declawing of cats. It also prohibits pet stores from doing business with puppy mills.

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