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The Fur Starts to Fly

The Chamber of Commerce announces its opposition to Weho's newly passed fur-free ordinance, proposing regulation rather than prohibition.

Some area businesses are opposing the , calling for fur to be regulated rather than banned.

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to Mayor John Duran and the City Council members on Thursday morning indicating its opposition to the ordinance. According to the Chamber, 46 percent of apparel stores in the city, approximately 90 retailers, sell fur.

In a press release, the Chamber stated that it is “deeply disappointed and saddened by the outcome of Monday night’s West Hollywood City Council meeting and their attempts to push through an ordinance which is detrimental to any business in West Hollywood.”

West Hollywood made headlines around the globe this week with the passage of the fur-free ordinance. The city became the first in the nation to ban the sale of any clothing item containing fur.

At Monday’s council meeting, several retailers threatened to move their businesses to Beverly Hills or Los Angeles if the prohibition passed.

In an effort to find middle ground and keep moneymaking businesses in the city, the Chamber is proposing two alternatives that would regulate the sale of fur in the city rather than outright ban it.

One option is to adopt a label program being used internationally called Origin Assured (OA). This label program regulates which countries the fur comes from and guarantees that humane standards are followed.

The other option is to create a voluntary program in which businesses opt to go fur free and carry a certification sticker in their windows.

Both options seek to raise the consciousness of customers by giving them more information about fur and how the animals are treated.

This education process would allow customers “to make an educated decision about their purchases and effectively help in the real fight to end animal cruelty,” the Chamber said in the press release, adding that the program still gives West Hollywood notoriety as a “progressive and forward thinking municipality.”  

Weho Patch contacted Councilman John D’Amico, who sponsored the fur ban, for comment, but he has not responded. D’Amico championed the fur-free cause during his election campaign and made it his first piece of legislation after joining the council in March. 

Knowing it would be creating a precedent that other cities might follow, the council instructed City Hall staffers to carefully draft an ordinance. At Monday night’s meeting, they reviewed the language of the ordinance and again unanimously voted to adopt it.

In the four months between first approving the ordinance and finally adopting it, D’Amico says he sought input from the Chamber and affected businesses. Both the Chamber and the Avenues: Art, Fashion and Design district declined to participate.

Instead, the Chamber says it offered to submit economic findings from a comprehensive report to help the council make a more informed decision.

The Chamber said that the Fur Information Council of America (FICA) released that detailed economic impact study on Tuesday morning. The Chamber did not explain why FICA waited until the day after the council vote to release the report.

joninla September 24, 2011 at 11:50 AM
BEING SERIOUS (For once): I AM VERY CONCERNED ABOUT HOW THE CITY LEGISLATES WITHOUT VIOLATING THE BASIC CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF ALL AMERICANS. HOW IS THE COUNCIL PROCEEDING WITH SUCH AN ACT WITHOUT VIOLATING THE "DUE PROCESS OF LAW" WHICH PROTECTS PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES FROM ABUSE OF POWER BY LEGISLATORS. THIS HAS NOTING TO DO WITH THE FUR ISSUE, BUT MORE LIKE AN ACLU CONCERN THAT ALL PROPER PROCEDURES ARE FOLLOWED BEFORE A LOCAL GOVERNMENT CREATES LAW DEPRIVING ANYONE OF THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT THEY WANT TO AND WAS NEVER PROHIBITED BEFORE THE NEW BAN WAS MADE.
larry gust September 24, 2011 at 02:04 PM
This city just keeps setting itself up for lawsuit after lawsuit! And many of them lawyers, who should know better..........really a dumb bunch....I think they watched too many old westerns and still think weho is the old west and they're acting like the shariffs in town !! No regard for law as written in more than half their descisions.
Pandora September 29, 2011 at 07:24 PM
CITY IS IN FOR A MAJOR LAWSUIT ON THIS ONE. Why wouldn't Damico talk to PATCH about his fur ban??? It is because he is ascared to go on the record about it. If they really cared about protecting animals they would have banned leather and furniture too. But this is the city that thinks the front yard of that dilapitated house on Laurel is a PARK yet the only thing me and my neighbors see in it are more and more homeless people. All this money they spent on the fur ban should have gone to creating parks!!!
allegra October 10, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Oh, Pandora, the house at Laurel park will soon be restored and the extra parkland, that you wish for, will be created there. Maybe you could even give input on the use of the house... Even though you work for the city and don’t live in the neighborhood, that is possible. Just wiggle your nose.
meister4weho October 11, 2011 at 01:06 AM
Didn't all the Council members vote Yes on this ban? Someone obviously has a grudge.

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