West Hollywood gives final approval to fur ban
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A first-in-the-nation ban on the sale of fur clothing in the trendy Southern California city of West Hollywood has been given final approval by officials after weeks of contentious debate.
The West Hollywood City Council voted 3-1 on Monday night to approve the ban, which would take effect in September 2013, said Michelle Rex, an aide to City Councilman John D'Amico. D'Amico spearheaded the measure.
The debate over whether to approve the ban pitted animal rights groups against retailers in the tiny, tony municipality, which is known for its vibrant shopping scene and liberal activism.
Wedged between Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, the city of West Hollywood has a population of 35,000.
The council voted in September to give tentative approval to the ban. The ordinance came back before the panel repeatedly for changes, and dozens of speakers lined up to voice their support or opposition.
City officials and the Fur Information Council of America said West Hollywood's ban on the sale of fur clothing was the first in the nation. As passed, the measure would outlaw the sale of any garment made "in whole or part from the pelt or skin of an animal with its hair, wool or fur."
The ordinance cites as explicit examples furs made from a fox, mink, rabbit, bear, seal or chinchilla. Clothing made from wool sheared from sheep is not affected by the ban, nor is furniture or leather goods.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)
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