Banning the sale of fur (Rhode Island)

An Act Relating to Criminal Offenses — Trade in Animal Fur Products Act (HB 5258/SB 746)

HB 5258/SB 746 would ban the sale of new fur products in Rhode Island, reducing the demand driving the fur industry.


July 3, 2023

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Tens of millions of animals are killed for their fur every year. To reduce the demand driving the fur industry, jurisdictions are banning the sale of new fur products.

In Rhode Island, An Act Relating to Criminal Offenses — Trade in Animal Fur Products Act (HB 5258/SB 746)  would ban the sale of new fur products in the state, including fur clothing and fashion accessories. The law would not impact the sale of used or second-hand fur products or those that are used in the practice of a religion.

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 revealed 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.

Intensively confining animals puts public health and the environment at risk. Factory farms are breeding grounds for pathogens that can result in zoonotic diseases. In 2020, mink fur farms in the U.S. and abroad became in hot spots for COVID-19. Waste runoff from factory farms can also pollute the soil and waterways. The tanning and dying process in fur production also uses toxic and carcinogenic chemicals to prevent the skin from decaying.

Innovative technology has produced an array of alternatives with the same warmth, look, and feel as fur. Dozens of leading retailers, brands, and designers have announced fur-free policies.

In 2019, California became the first state in the nation to ban the sale of fur. Since then, Boulder, CO, Ann Arbor, MI, Hallandale Beach, FL, as well as Brookline, Wellesley, and Weston, MA, have passed fur sales bans. Internationally, nearly 20 countries have either banned or restricted fur farming.

HB 5258 was introduced by Representatives Katherine Kazarian (D-63), Patricia Serpa (D-27), Brandon Potter (D-16), and Jennifer Stewart (D-4). SB 746 was introduced by Senators Pamela Lauria (D-32), Joshua Miller (D-28), Melissa Murray (D-24), and Linda Ujifusa (D-11).

If you live in Rhode Island, please take action to support this bill.

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