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Banning the sale of fur (Rhode Island)

An Act Relating to Criminal Offenses – Trade in Animal Fur Act (HB 5188)

HB 5188, introduced by Representatives Patricia Serpa (D-27), Robert Phillips (D-51), and Steven Lima (D-49), would ban the sale of new fur products in Rhode Island, with exceptions including for used fur products or fur products used in the practice of a religion.

Updated

February 23, 2021

Work Type

Legislation

Status

Active

HB 5188, introduced by Representatives Patricia Serpa (D-27), Robert Phillips (D-51), and Steven Lima (D-49), would ban the sale of new fur products in Rhode Island, with exceptions including for used fur products or fur products used in the practice of a religion. In 2019, California became the first state to ban the sale of new fur products. Fur bans are currently being considered in multiple state legislatures including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Hawaii.

On fur farms, animals like foxes and minks are confined to tiny wire cages for virtually their entire lives. Unable to engage in many of their natural behaviors, animals on fur farms routinely resort to self-mutilation, obsessive pacing, and infanticide. Undercover investigations on fur farms have uncovered egregious cruelty — including animals being skinned alive. To maintain the integrity of their skin and fur, animals on fur farms are usually killed via suffocation, electrocution, gassing, or poisoning. Sometimes, they are bludgeoned in the head or face repeatedly.

Whenever animals are intensively confined without regard for their health or welfare, public health is also endangered. Fur farms often confine thousands of animals to small barns or open-air cage systems. Sanitation is typically poor, and veterinary care is almost non-existent. As a result, these fur factory farms are breeding grounds for pathogens that can result in zoonotic diseases. Mink fur farms in the U.S. and around the globe have become hot spots for COVID-19. Minks are the only animal known to both catch the virus from people and transmit it to them.

Learn more about fur sale bans.

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