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(a) Historically, animals were hunted or trapped for food, and their pelts were used to provide protective clothing. Over time, civilizations and technology have developed such that fur is less of a necessity and more of a luxury. Fur garments are now typically designed for fashion rather than warmth. Further, more animals are now killed to make decorative fur trim than to manufacture full fur garments.
(b) More than 50 million animals are violently killed for their fur every year. Major producers of fur include the United States, Canada, and Scandinavian countries.
(c) More than 85% of pelts in the world’s fur trade come from fur farms. The remaining 15% are from animals caught in the wild. Animals that are bred on fur farms commonly include mink, fox, marten, and chinchilla.
(d) The majority of pelts produced annually are mink. In 2013, approximately 275 mink farms in 23 states across the United States produced about 3 million pelts, with an aggregate value of over $300 million. As of 2015, mink pelt production in the United States totaled 3.76 million pelts. Mink pelt production in the United States saw a sharp increase between 2011 and 2014, but has since remained stable.
(e) Fur farming can be damaging to the environment and contributes to water and air pollution. Fur processing often involves use of harmful chemicals including chromium and formaldehyde.
(f) Fur farming also consumes significant quantities of energy. The amount of energy required to produce a coat made of real fur from ranch-raised animal skins is over 15 times that needed to produce a fake fur garment. For each kilogram of factory-farmed mink fur, 110 kilograms of carbon dioxide is produced.
(g) Existing laws require relatively little oversight of the fur farming and fur trade industries. Compliance with guidelines issued by the American Veterinary Medical Association is not mandatory, and fur farms are not monitored by any government agency.
(h) Federal law does forbid deceptive labeling of fur products, and requires that products made with real fur be labeled as such. This allows consumers to choose whether to purchase real or faux fur garments.
(i) The sale of fur products in San Francisco is inconsistent with the City’s ethos of treating all living beings, humans and animals alike, with kindness. In light of the wide array of faux fur and other alternatives for fashion and apparel, the demand for fur products does not justify the unnecessary killing and cruel treatment of animals. Eliminating the sale of fur products in San Francisco will promote community awareness of animal welfare, bolster the City’s stance against animal cruelty, and, in turn, foster a more humane environment in San Francisco.
(Added by Ord. 55-18, File No. 171317, App. 4/13/2018, Eff. 5/14/2018)