Press Release

Fur Fight in West Hollywood Showdown

The Animal Legal Defense Fund Supports City’s Ban in Court Against Boutique Cruelty to Animals


fur coat

WEST HOLLYWOOD — Tomorrow, in the legal battle over the city’s historic ban on fur, the court will hear arguments whether representatives for the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) can help the city defend its right to pass humane laws by submitting a friend of the court brief. For the second time in this legal showdown, ALDF will speak up on behalf of the city in fur-related lawsuits brought by the high-priced West Hollywood fashion boutique Mayfair House, Inc.

In 2011, West Hollywood passed the first citywide ban on the sale of animal fur products; that ordinance went into effect in September, 2013. Mayfair House—which sells luxury items made from animal fur—lost a federal lawsuit against the city in 2014. A federal judge allowed ALDF to submit a similar legal brief, and subsequently agreed with ALDF’s argument, ruling that lawsuit was meritless; Mayfair House filed a second lawsuit, this time in state court. ALDF’s amicus brief supports the city’s motion to dismiss this lawsuit as meritless as well.

Where: Santa Monica Courthouse, Department M. 1725 Main St., Santa Monica, Calif. 90401.

When: Friday, April 3, 9 a.m.

Celebrity battles between Sharon Osbourne and Kim Kardashian have fur flying everywhere. But this hot topic has its roots in local history. For decades, West Hollywood has supported groundbreaking animal protections laws and has been a “Cruelty Free Zone for Animals.” The brief asks the court to uphold the city’s constitutional authority to protect animals within its limits. ALDF has just launched its first ever regional attorney network in the Los Angeles area.

“West Hollywood should be commended for humane laws that ban horrific acts of cruelty, and we expect the court will dismiss this frivolous case with prejudice,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of ALDF. “Animals on fur farms suffer unimaginable agony before being suffocated, electrocuted, gassed, skinned alive, and/or poisoned. Cruelty is not fashionable.”

Copies of the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s amicus brief are available by request.

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