Fur-Free West Hollywood

September 2013: West Hollywood becomes the first city in the U.S. to ban fur

On May 16, 2011, Councilman John D’Amico introduced Ordinance # 11-877 to ban the sale of fur products in West Hollywood, CA (WeHo), also known as the "Humane Capital of the United States". The ordinance passed in November 2011, making WeHo the world’s first city to ban fur products, setting a precedent for the rest of the world to put an end to the needless suffering of fur-bearing animals solely for the purposes of vanity.

West Hollywood has always been a leader in passing groundbreaking legislation in the area of animal welfare. In 1989, West Hollywood passed Resolution 558, making the city a "Cruelty-Free Zone" for animals by banning cosmetic testing and steel leg-hold traps. It was the first city in the U.S. to ban declawing of cats (and is also one of the guardian cities where animals are referred to as companion animals, not pets), and in 2010, it banned the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores. It has now furthered the effort to make good on that promise and has once again shown its leadership for animal welfare by becoming the first Fur-Free city in the nation. (Read the ABC 7 story here.)

The History of Fur-Free WeHo

LCA, Shannon Keith, Ellen Lavinthal, Ed Buck, and fellow animal advocates, came together to BAN the sale of fur in West Hollywood. After successfully completing a six-week campaign of weekly rallies and demonstrations leading up to the 2011 City Council elections, and visits to retail establishments carrying fur, some important objectives were met. Several stores voluntarily removed fur from their inventory, fur-free candidate John D’Amico was enthusiastically and overwhelmingly elected by the citizens of West Hollywood, and awareness was raised around the fur issue.

An ordinance to ban the sale of fur in West Hollywood was drafted, and at 1:45AM on Tuesday, September 20, 2011, the City Council voted 5-0 to pass the ordinance. On the second and final reading of the Fur-Free Ban (Ordinance 11-877) on Monday, November 21, 2011, three of West Hollywood’s City Council Members voted to officially pass the controversial ordinance. Although Councilmember John Heilman voted against the ban and absent Councilmember Abbe abstained, Mayor John Duran, Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Prang, and author of the ordinance Councilmember John D’Amico voted in favor of passing the legislation, therefore ensuring that the ban be set in motion.


The official implementation date of the Fur Free Ban was September 21, 2013. The ordinance exempts used fur products sold by private parties (excluding retail transactions), non-profit organizations, and second-hand stores including pawn shops.

The ordinance is one of the first of its kind in the United States.

LCA Presenting Historic Resolution 558 to WeHo in 1989 Proclaiming the City of West Hollywood a Cruelty Free ZoneLCA presenting historic Resolution 558 to WeHo in 1989. Proclaiming the City of West Hollywood a Cruelty Free Zone Council members Jeffery Prang and John D'Amico with Chris DeRose and Ellen Lavinthal at 9/20/2011 press conference announcing the historic vote to ban fur in WeHoCouncil members Jeffery Prang and John D'Amico with Chris DeRose and Ellen Lavinthal at 9/20/2011 press conference announcing the historic vote to ban fur in West Hollywood

Before being elected, campaign supporter and City Council candidate John D’Amico said: "West Hollywood has the opportunity to once again be a leader for animal welfare by becoming the first fur-free city in the nation. We have pledged to be a place that is free of cruelty to animals and we can no longer support the barbaric fur trade by selling the products of that cruelty in our city.” The precedent-setting vote in favor of the ban on the sale of fur apparel shows that West Hollywood leads the way for other cities to follow.

LCA thanks all the supporters who protested, sent letters, made calls and came out to support the vote. Everyone’s help contributed to passing this monumental legislation. LCA now hopes to roll this ban out across the nation!

To honor the one year anniversary of the ordinance’s introduction, D’Amico, Last Chance for Animals’ Chris DeRose, Animal Alliance’s Ellen Lavinthal, Born Free, and Fur Free WeHo held a press conference at West Hollywood’s City Hall at 10am on Thursday, May 24, 2012 to kick off the first WeHo SHOP IN, which was held on Saturday, May 26, 2012. The event, which began with a 'kick-off party' held at Nicole Miller, allowed participating stores to show their support of WeHo’s ban on fur by offering shoppers a 10% discount if they mentioned the shop in. Well over 30 stores, including American Apparel, Modani, and BevMo participated in the celebration.


Read more about the disgusting practices of the fur trade!




pawprint mini greenLearn more about: Fur Free Friday