New York City politics grows fuzzier.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has introduced legislation to ban all sales of fur apparel in the Big Apple — and will hold a public hearing on that bill Wednesday. Will the fur fly? Consider that the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco already have banned fur sales.
A new Mason-Dixon poll of 625 registered New York City voters found that 75% of New Yorkers would support a citywide law prohibiting the sale of fur apparel — an opinion shared by the town’s Republicans, Democrats and independents alike.
“The results show that New York City needs to take action to catch up to what is clearly society’s sentiment, that cruelty is not fashionable,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals, a nonprofit advocacy group. “New York City can be the ultimate fashion-forward role model by passing this legislation.”
It looks like Great Aunt Madge’s old mink coat and other furred fare will be grandfathered into the bill, however.
Ms. Feral points out that bill prohibits the sale of any fur apparel — “including any skin in whole or part with hair, fleece or fibers attached.” The bill does not ban leather or the sale of “used furs.” It does not prevent residents from wearing fur apparel they own — and it also contains an exemption for fur worn as a matter of religious custom.
Opponents of the legislation contend that fur is natural and “environmentally sustainable.” Opponents insist the fur apparel industry uses environmentally harmful chemicals which protect the fur from “the decomposing and decomposing of mink feces,” among other things.
The International Fur Federation, in fact, paid for a billboard above Times Square which advised “Fake fur kills fish” — referencing its claim that fake fur is composed of unfriendly chemicals and synthetics.
Meanwhile, the animal rights folks have organized into a coalition called Fur Free NYC, which consists of 60 different organizations who want the new legislation passed. They include PETA, the Humane Society of the United States and such groups as Project Coyote, the Animal’s Battalion and Global Strays.
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