Fur Flies in West Hollywood Showdown over City Ban

Posted on November 15, 2013

ALDF Speaks Out Against Hollywood Boutique in Legal Battle Over High-Priced Fur Fashions

For immediate release:

Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund


Fox yawns at Island Beach State Park, New Jersey on April 22, 2011. (CC Ellen & Tony)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a friend of the court brief with the U.S. District Court, Central District of California on behalf of the city of West Hollywood, which is the target of a fur-related lawsuit by the high-priced West Hollywood fashion boutique Mayfair House, Inc. In 2011, the City passed an ordinance which bans the sale of all animal fur products within city limits; that ordinance went into effect in September, 2013. Mayfair House—which sells luxury items made from animal fur—has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the ban on fur is unconstitutional. ALDF’s brief supports the city’s motion to dismiss that lawsuit. The Court will decide whether to consider ALDF’s amicus brief in the coming weeks.

For more than two decades West Hollywood has supported groundbreaking animal welfare laws. In 1989, the city became a “Cruelty Free Zone for Animals,” and banned both steel leg-hold traps and animal testing for cosmetics. In 2003, the city outlawed the declawing of cats and other animals, and in 2010 the city banned the commercial sale of dogs and cats. Just this year, West Hollywood banned the commercial display of animals, which effectively banned circuses. After investigating the issue, the city argues the intense suffering animals endure in the fur industry is inconsistent with a “Cruelty Free Zone,” and that cruelty-free fashion alternatives abound.

Mayfair House argues the city-wide ban on fur not only violates state laws that prevent the city from enacting wildlife-related ordinances—but also the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution. ALDF is asking the court to uphold the city’s constitutional authority to protect animals within city limits.

“Animals on fur farms suffer unimaginable agony in filthy cages before being suffocated, electrocuted, gassed, or poisoned,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF. “West Hollywood should be commended, not sued, for reasonable laws that ban horrific acts of cruelty.”

Copies of ALDF’s amicus brief are available by request.

24 thoughts on “Fur Flies in West Hollywood Showdown over City Ban

  1. Patricia Xie says:

    Please go fur-free and stay fur free. Make compassion the fashion.

  2. sandra houghton says:

    Animals are here to live their lives in freedom just as we do,not to be used as ornamental objects and least to make clothes.

  3. Deborah E, Reiss says:

    Stop the cruelty now.

  4. Juliette Heath Mendez says:

    The only fur there should be is on the animal it belongs on!!

  5. Tina Lindholm says:

    Time to start caring about ALL life forms, not just yours.

  6. Taraneh moayed says:

    All cities should follow this lead

  7. Kelly K. says:

    Wish I was a resident. They’d have my support. :)

  8. Cherie Van Houten says:

    Please stop using fur

  9. Kori Ventura says:

    Yes! It’s about time we stop selling furs that support the cruel fur industry! Animals have families and feelings and should not be exploited for rich, flaunting so called humans!

  10. don hughes says:

    Every society has it’s share of abusive (vitupruent) indivdiusls, who in my opinion deserve a bullet in the forehead, that would end of problem, mass extermination.

  11. Maria Cantwell says:

    Fur is meant for animals; not for humans. A few years ago I was given a sweater for a present. On the label it read that it was made with rabbit fur. I tossed it into the trash. I will NOT wearing anything that a life was sacrificed for.

  12. Deena says:

    So Mayfair you think it is fine that ANIMALS BE SKINNED ALIVE SO YOU CAN MAKE THE ALMIGHTY BUCK….MAY GOD FORGIVE YOU…on judgment day may you remember, as you look in the face of God, that all you cared about was the DOLLAR…You sicken me to my very soul

  13. David says:

    This is fantastic, ANIMALS NEED OUR PROTECTION DESPERATLY. It is so nice to see people coming out in support of no fur. I also was unaware of no fur sales in West Hollywood. Sure wish congress would look and act on that. But we all know they only look, they haven’t acted on anything this yr. period. I also believe what the woman above said about judgement day. These critters are thinking , living , feeling and ALIVE!!! They deserve everything we can do to help them. Regarding wild animals all we due is kill them and take up their habitat. Whole thing is very sad and anguishing.

  14. Corie says:

    I dint know about West Hollywood’s grumpy of animal welfare reforms, I have to say I’m surprised but also very very impressed. Now let’s take this even further……ban fur everywhere, every place, every country!

    1. Corie says:

      Grumpy was written as history. West Hollywood’s history.

  15. Luca Giglio says:


  16. Barry Appleby says:

    I do not think that the Constitution of the USA is meant to protect the rights of businesses to make a profit. “Due process” refers I believe to the right of indiivudals to a fair trial to determine their guilt or innocence. I am not sure about “equal protection” but does the Constitution even consider the rights of businesses? I think not. Since the business is free to relocate to a different city, I cannot see that any rights have been infringed. It would seem that this is a matter of local standards, as is the case with regard to “adult” films etc. This decision, I would argue, reflects the views of a majority of the residents, and the city council is therefore, in effect, following the will of the people. I am a British citizen and far from being an expert on the Constitution, so perhaps somebody who is, could enlighten us as to how this matter will be handled in court.

    1. Conor McIntyre says:

      No, you pretty much got it right. :)

  17. Susan Oldershaw says:

    Don’t forget the factory farming industry. These animals lead, painful deprived lives. They are also often skinned while still alive to save money. GO VEGAN. You will be healthier and cut down on massive suffering.

  18. Renata Bartoli, PhD says:

    Continue to be a beacon of progress for the entire world please: carry on the good work. Keep cruelty away from your area. Other countries, like Israel, have already learned from your example: do not give up now. Let compassion and decency win against cruelty. Thank you.

  19. Jane lewis says:

    Please stop the cruel fur trade .be active against Mayfair
    Remember Gandhi said people judge your country by the way you treat your animals .

  20. yvonne walter says:

    Please let Joan Rivers know that with a TV program called Fashion Police she seems to be playing dumb about the horrendous cruelty to animals in the fur industry. She is constantly seen draped in fur and therefore making a fashion statement. Fashion doesn’t need fur to look great and she is a disgrace to continue promoting it.

  21. Rayline Dean says:

    Animals should not be torturing in horrible cruel torments of being skinned alive just for fur clothes & for making $$ out of animals’ fur. Everyone of all animals do not deserve to be tortured in horrible cruel torments of being skinned alive just for fur clothes & for making $$ out of animals’ fur.

    1. Rayline Dean says:

      oops I should say, “does” right after Everyone of all animals does not deserve to be tortured in horrible cruel torments of being skinned alive just for fur clothes & for making $$ out of animals’ fur. I saw that I made a mistake for saying, “do” instead of saying, “does”. My oops Smiling…

Be a Partner in Protection!

Donate monthly to help animals.

or make a one-time gift »

ALDF's Online Store

Help fund our lifesaving work!


Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.

Join Us

Follow ALDF on these networks:

Stay Connected

Sign up for Action Alerts.