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West Hollywood closer to becoming first fur-free city

In a move animal activists hope will spread like other trends emanating from the West Coast, West Hollywood, Calif., has taken one step closer to becoming the first, fur-free city in the US.

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After a 5-0 city council vote Tuesday, West Hollywood, Calif., has taken one step closer to becoming the first fur-free city in the US.

Cindy Miller Hopkins / DanitaDelimont.com / Newscom / File

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In a move animal activists hope will spread like other trends emanating from the West Coast, West Hollywood, Calif., has taken one step closer to becoming the first fur-free city in the US.

The West Hollywood city council early Tuesday morning tentatively approved an ordinance that would ban the sale of apparel made in whole or part from the pelt or skin of an animal with hair, wool, or fur.

Animal activists began pushing the campaign seriously in January and won a unanimous, 5-0 vote after a seven hour council meeting Tuesday.

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West Hollywood, a city of 50,000, is already known for passing bans on declawing cats, testing on animals for the development of cosmetics, and the use of steel-jaw leghold traps. Activists say this latest ruling will be an important boost in taking their cause countrywide.

“This is the culmination of efforts that began to really expand when people saw footage from China of the live skinning of raccoon dogs in 2005,” says Pierre Grzybowski, manager of the Fur Free Campaign of the Humane Society of the US. “When people see these actions, they are immediately energized to do something to stop them,” he says.

The ordinance still has technical and procedural hurdles with a second public reading ahead and final decisions on penalities, a starting date, and enforcement. There is also the issue of how to regulate second-hand retailers.

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