SAN FRANCISCO— On Thursday, July 16, the US District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a constitutional challenge against San Francisco’s current ban on the sale of fur products.
In 2018, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the fur ban, which began on January 1, 2019. They passed the ban to prevent animal cruelty and environmental impacts linked to producing fur. Animals on fur farms are often stacked in small cages before getting skinned, electrocuted, suffocated, or poisoned.
The International Fur Trade Federation filed the lawsuit against the city and county of San Francisco in January, 2020, claiming that the ban was unconstitutional. The Animal Legal Defense Fund and Humane Society of the United States worked to defend and preserve the fur ban. Judge Richard Seeborg of the US District Court sided against the fur industry stating that they didn’t present a valid legal theory and the ban does not violate the Constitution’s commerce clause. The court’s decision provides precedent in case future fur bans like the state of California’s encounter legal trouble.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s official press release, “The challenge to San Francisco’s ban was a test from the opposition to the constitutionality against all fur bans, as this legislation gains momentum,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The Animal Legal Defense Fund will continue to defend fur bans, and other animal protection legislation, as voters fight back against systematically cruel industries that profit from the exploitation of animals.”