Last week the state of California made legislative history when it passed a law making it the first US state to ban the trapping of animals for their fur. The law, Assembly Bill 273, passed both state houses, with a vote of 30-9 in the Senate and 51-19 in the state Assembly.
The bill will prohibit and make it illegal to now trap any animal that is fur bearing as well as non-game animals for the purpose of recreation or the selling of their furs. The bill also included the banning of the sales of raw fur, and eliminates those licenses currently held by fur dealers and those such agents,
The legislation was then quickly signed by Governor Gavin Newsom and is reported to benefit a multitude of native species. Included, but not limited to, foxes, coyotes, beavers, badgers, and minks. The legislation was penned and sponsored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego).
Gonzalez said that her reason for penning the legislation was twofold—the primary reason being that the trapping of animals for their fur is an inhumane practice and that since 2017 the fur trapping industry has been proven to be a drain on the taxpayer’s dollars.
The trapping of animals for their fur has historically been a massive industry for the state of California. However, the harmful effects the practice has had on the wildlife can be traced as far back as the early 1800s. It was then that reports showed that the sea otter population of San Francisco and the North Coast was all but decimated. Through the centuries, the practice of fur trapping has also been seen to play a significant role in the decline in such species in the state as wolves, wolverines, fishers, martens, and beavers.
Although the trapping of animals for their fur is done on what is considered an extremely small scale within the state, it is also reported that hundreds of animals are being trapped each year for the selling of their pelts overseas.