Sacramento, CA–California is on its way to becoming the sixth state with a fur labeling law after adopting legislation earlier this week that requires clothing and most accessories made of animal fur to say so on the label. The state Assembly voted April 5 in favor of the bill, which now heads to the Senate.
Although a federal law governs labeling of animal fur apparel, many fur-trimmed jackets, shawls, stoles and other accessories are exempt under a loophole that excludes apparel items with fur valued at $150 or less.
“Right now, there are jackets for sale in California stores that say nothing on the label about the raccoon dog fur trimming the hood,” explains Jennifer Fearing, California senior state director at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The new bill would require that all clothing and accessories with real fur must be labeled with the type of animal and the country of origin. Labeling requirements would not apply to used clothing and to handbags.
Bill co-author Fiona Ma adds: “I think there is an expectation that if clothing isn’t labelled as real fur it must be fake–but this isn’t always the case. People have a right to know if they are buying raccoon dog or a polyester blend.” According to the HSUS, unlabelled animal fur apparel–as allowed by the current federal loophole–was found in the San Francisco area in January this year. It said products included Coach brand boots at Macy’s, a dyed pink jacket by Bryan Bradley at Loehmann’s, and Baby Phat, Rocawear and Utex brand jackets at Burlington Coat Factory.
The California senate is expected to vote on the bill in June. If California adopts the bill it will join Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Wisconsin with a fur labeling law.