West Hollywood fur sale ban goes into effect Saturday

West Hollywood fur sale ban goes into effect Saturday
A WeHo dog expresses the city's sentiment in a a 2011 anti-fur demonstration. West Hollywood's ban on the sale of fur, passed in November 2011, goes into effect Saturday. (Luis Sinco)

Got fur? If you're a West Hollywood apparel retailer, as of Saturday that answer -- legally at least -- will be an unequivocal no. That's because Sept. 21, 2013, is the date that city's ban on the sale of fur goes into effect.

Since it was officially passed way back in November 2011, we thought a little refresher course about exactly what is and isn't covered under the ban might be in order.


The answers below are culled verbatim from the city's Fur Ban Information Web page):

What, specifically, is banned?

The "selling, trading, distributing, importing or exporting [of] any fur product."

And by "any fur product" you mean, what, exactly?

"The term 'fur product' means any item of personal attire, clothing or garment, which is composed in whole or in part from the pelt or skin of any animal with its hair, fleece (wool) or fur attached."

Wait, so that includes this shearling jacket too?

"The ban applies to shearling products, as the skin for such products is tanned with the wool still attached."

What kind of retail items are subject to the ordinance?

"The Ordinance only applies to 'wearing apparel' as defined as 'any articles of clothing or covering for any part of the body,' which would include shoes, boots, hats, and gloves."

What about, say, this shearling purse? Or that fox-fur ottoman?

"Based on the Ordinance's definition of wearing apparel, purses, jewelry and pocketbooks are not considered wearing apparel and therefore are not prohibited under this Ordinance. Furniture is also not prohibited under this Ordinance."

Am I in trouble if I live in WeHo and buy a mink stole in Beverly Hills?

"A resident of West Hollywood who purchases and brings back a fur product from outside the City for personal use or to give the fur product as a gift is not re-selling the fur product, and therefore would not be in violation of the Ordinance."

What about e-commerce?

"Businesses located within West Hollywood are prohibited from selling fur apparel online and shipping from a West Hollywood location."

Are there any exemptions to the ban?

"Yes. The Ordinance does not apply to the sale, importation, exportation, trade or distribution of: (1) Fur products by a non-profit organization; (2) The pelt or skin of an animal that is preserved through taxidermy or for the purpose of taxidermy; or (3) Used fur products by a private party (excluding a retail transaction), non­profit organization or second-hand store, including a pawn shop."

What happens if I violate the ban?

"A violation of the Ordinance is subject to a civil administrative penalty in accordance with the City of West Hollywood 2013-14 Fee Schedule:

  • Admin Fee - $50
  • First Offense - $200 plus admin fee
  • Second Offense (within a twelve-month period) - $400 plus admin fee
  • Third Offense (within a twelve-month period) - $800 plus admin fee
  • Any additional offense within a twelve-month period charged as an infraction or misdemeanor."