The last time we visited San Francisco, we noted that its diseased streets were filled with needles, human excrement, and pathogens.

However, in what is a stunning display of misplaced priorities, the city’s supervisors have enacted decisive legislation…banning fur sales.

The ban takes effect Jan. 1 and applies to apparel and accessories featuring real fur, including coats, key chains and gloves. An amendment added Tuesday allows furriers and other retailers to sell current inventory until January 1, 2020.

Wayne Hsiung, co-founder of animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere, said in a statement that “this historic act will usher in a new wave of animal rights legislation across the globe.”

With this move, San Francisco becomes the third California city to ban the sale of real fur, after Berkeley and West Hollywood. Retailers (also known as area employers and the tax base) are balking at this move, and some are demanding a city-wide vote rather than settling for the dictates of the social justice warriors ruling San Francisco.

“It should be a citywide public vote, it shouldn’t be decided by the Board of Supervisors,” said Skip Pas, chief executive officer of West Coast Leather, which sells fur-trimmed items but deals largely in leather.

Pas made an additional point about what the city felt it might be able to ban next.

“What’s next? They’re going to say that you can’t have beef and you can’t have pork and duck in Chinatown? I mean, it’s a little too much.”

Given the extreme behavior of many animal rights activists, you can count that the ban will inspire more drama.

Other business owners are less inclined to resist.

Benjamin Lin, 72, owns B.B. Hawk in the South of Market neighborhood. His showroom features chinchilla, sable, fox, and Blackglama mink.

He is considering keeping his current location but selling fur at a smaller place nearby, outside San Francisco.

“I cannot fight it,” he said of the ban. “I will not win. I do not have the energy and the money.”

Lin is also considering a move to Dallas, where he will find many former Californians who have already fled the state’s business-crushing regulations.

The fur industry vigorously fought the ban, and may continue to challenge the new prohibition.

The International Fur Federation and the Fur Information Council of America wrote a seven page letter to the Board of Supervisors last week opposing the measure. They argued The City should allow fur sales if they meet the criteria of a proposed “Furmark Certification” program. The program would document fur products through the supply chain to prove “that the product has met the highest standards in environmental responsibility and the continued humane treatment of animals.”

The letter warned that the ban “would result in the loss of millions of dollars in tax revenues and jobs as well as the likely increase in retail vacancies in the city’s core” but that it also “sets a very dangerous precedent in opening the door for further actions against leather and wool, already the focus of active animal rights campaigns.”

The industry may sue over the ban.

Perhaps, one day, residents of San Francisco will ask, “Where’s the Beef”… and there will be no answer other than “Texas”.

Meanwhile, the city will continue to be the “Shithole” we all love to hate.


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