California has become the first U.S. state to ban all production and sale of animal fur products.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill that will make it illegal to make, sell and even donate any new item made using animal fur starting in 2023.
The bill excludes used items, taxidemy products, fur taken with a hunting license and fur used by Native American tribes for religious purposes.
Violators of the ban will face fines of up to $500, or even $1,000 for repeat offenses.
“The signing of AB44 underscores the point that today’s consumers simply don’t want wild animals to suffer extreme pain and fear for the sake of fashion,” Kitty Block, the head of the Humane Society of the United States said in a statement.
But the Fur Information Council of America condemned the ban as being part of a “radical vegan agenda” and has threatened a court challenge.
Along with the fur ban, Newsom also approved a ban on the use of most animals in circuses. Exceptions will be made for dogs and horses.
“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” Newsom said in a statement. “But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames.”