West Hollywood vs. Fashion Retailers: Let the Fur Ban Legal Fight Begin

The Fur Information Council and local retailers are furious about the city's latest move -- a ban on fur sales.

Last week West Hollywood formally became the first city in the U.S to ban fur apparel sales.

Which is good news for anti-fur folks and bad news for WeHo retailers who sell the stuff. Robertson Boulevard, along with areas of Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, are home to some of the most fashionable (and expensive) boutiques in Los Angeles. The passage of this ordinance means that shops such as Kitson, Balenciaga, Alberta Ferretti and Maxfield, a hot spot for rock and roll stars,  must remove all fur items by Sept. 21, 2013. Vintage fur are exempt from the ruling.

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According to FurFreeWeHo some retailers have voluntarily removed the fur from their stores, including high end Maxfields on Melrose and H Lorenzo, Zadig & Voltaire on Sunset Plaza and The Pleasure Chest in Weho and nationwide.

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But WWD reports a retailer move to stop the ban. The Fur Information Council of America, ironically based in West Hollywood, has announced it has formed a coalition of businesses, property owners and additional stakeholders to protest the ban under state and federal law. "The opposition to this ordinance has been so strong and the economic cost so high that I find it difficult to understand why the city would now invite a costly legal challenge.” FICA's Keith Kaplan told WWD.

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At least one major retailer has written in protest. “We believe that the right to exercise personal choices extends to the choice to buy, wear and sell fur,” wrote Deirdre Wheaton

West Hollywood has to be way up there in terms of being the most animal friendly city in the U.S.  In 1989, it announced that it was the first cruelty free zone for animals. In 2003, tt was the first North America city to outlaw the de-clawing of cats. At least seven other California cities since have followed in their tracks. In 2010, the city was the second (South Lake Tahoe was first) to ban the sale of what they call 'companion animals' (dogs and cats) in WeHo pet stores. Only rescue dog and cats are now permitted to be available for adoption by potential pet-owners. And they must meet the strict requirements of the rescue agencies before they can take home an animal.

Needless to say, WeHo's fur stand will make outspoken anti-fur actresses like Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 star Kristen Stewart, Nia Long, Eva Mendes, George Clooney's ex Elisabetta Canalis (pictured above), and Pamela Anderson, very happy indeed.

Are you in favor of the WeHo fur ban or against it? Sound off in our comments section.