Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Reaction of Fur Industry to California Gov. Newsom's Signing of Fur-Ban Bill

"Not the type of historical moment most chief executives would want

The following comments were made by Keith Kaplan of the Fur Information Council of America, after Gov. Gavin Newsom today signed Assembly Bill 44 into law, which bans the sale and manufacturing of fur products in California.

"Governor Newsom has now made California the first state in the nation to abolish a centuries-old, lawful, highly regulated, job-producing, environmentally sound, tax-paying industry. He has failed to recognize the human toll here resulting from the government forcing these businesses to close with no compensation to the business owners. They will lose generations of investment, their livelihoods will be cut off and for many in long-term lease agreements, they will continue to be responsible for considerable expenses. Their staffs, many of them highly skilled craftsmen, will join the ranks of the unemployed, unlikely to find work at similar wage levels. To be sure, it is the stuff of legacy, just not the legacy any other chief executive would want.

"Two things are for certain: This law will do nothing for animal welfare and nothing to stop out-of-state sales of fur into California. Compounding the uselessness of this piece of political vanity is the missed opportunity Assembly Bill 44's author, and now the governor of California, had to work with the industry on the development of a program that would have made California an international stand-out of true animal welfare. It is exactly the opportunity he recognized in recent weeks to address issues in horse racing, noting that horse racing's "time is up" if it doesn't make significant reforms in regard to the health of its animals. One cannot help but question this astounding hypocrisy.

"This issue is about much more than animal welfare in the fur industry. It is about the end of animal use of any kind. Fur today, leather tomorrow, your wool blankets and silk sheets-and meat after that.

"We intend to challenge this law in the courts. It does not bode well for honest, hard-working people, for democracy, and for commerce when by government fiat businesses can be terminated for no other reason than to score political points with a handful of fanatics."

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