PETA activists disrupted a Michael Kors talk with Alina Cho at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in June.

SAN FRAN BANS FUR: San Francisco’s board of supervisors has passed an ordinance banning the sale of new fur items, making it the largest city in the U.S. to do so.

As of Jan. 1, San Francisco retailers that sell apparel or accessories with new fur will face a $500 fine per violation, with the amount escalating with additional violations. For example, 10 newly purchased fur coats would result in 10 violations. The board did make an amendment for those who purchased fur today, who would have a one-year amnesty on the fine.

Supervisor Katy Tang, who has supported a lot of animal welfare legislation during her time in office, put forward the ban ordinance. Animal welfare groups such as Direct Action Everywhere have been working with the board to promote a fur ban. “This has been one of the things on their agenda, especially in San Francisco. We know that when we do things in San Francisco that a lot of times it will get attention nationally and globally. We also feel a big responsibility when we’re in a position like this because it could really make a huge impact,” said a board of supervisors spokeswoman. “Tang really wanted to speak for animals because they don’t have a voice, and to make sure she has the opportunity to do something really big and profound.”

Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg and Jimmy Choo are among the fashion labels that have stopped using fur or have vowed to. West Hollywood became the first American city to ban the sale of new fur items in 2011, and Berkeley passed a ban on the sale of fur apparel last year. Other countries are passing laws to phase out fur farms. In 2000, the U.K. led that charge, followed by Australia in 2004. More recently, the Netherlands, the European Union’s largest producer of fur, banned fur farming in 2012 and plans to end mink farming by 2024. Earlier this month, Norway banned fur farms and will phase out fox and mink farms by 2025.

With its 10-0 decision (one member of the San Francisco board was absent from Tuesday’s meeting), the group aims “to send a strong message to the fur industry that the cruelty these animals endure for the purpose of becoming clothing and accessories is not consistent with the values of our city.” In a statement, Tang noted that 50 million animals are “violently killed each year around the world to support the fashion industry. San Francisco is a city with progressive values where we believe in the rights of all people as well as all living things — and it is not right to allow this practice to continue.”

PJ Smith, senior manager of fashion policy for The Humane Society of the U.S., said Tuesday, “San Francisco is a hub for innovation, and this ban on fur sales places the city as a leader of ethical fashion and new textiles.”

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