House passes Whip Kazarian’s bill banning the sale of animal furs
STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today passed legislation (2022-H 7361) sponsored by House Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian which would prohibit the sale, offer of sale, trade or distribution of animal fur products within Rhode Island.
“Farming fur is not only cruel and inhumane to the poor animals trapped in cramped and filthy cages waiting to be killed and skinned, but it also poses significant health and environmental threats to the state. From fur farms being documented as possible outbreak sites of dangerous zoonotic diseases, such as coronaviruses, to the energy intensive processes that are required, as well as, the potential air and water run off contamination from the hazardous metals and chemicals that are used, fur farming poses a threat to ourselves and the environment. There was a time when animal furs were crucial to our survival, but that time has long passed and we must do the right thing and end this cruel and unnecessary practice of producing and selling animal furs for fashion purposes,” said Whip Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence).
Fur products are defined as any article of clothing or covering for any part of the body, or any fashion accessory, including, but not limited to, handbags, shoes, slippers, hats, earmuffs, scarves, shawls, gloves, jewelry, key chains, toys or trinkets and home accessories and decor that is made in whole or in part of fur. Any animal skin or part that is to be converted into leather, cowhide with the hair attached, lambskin or sheepskin with the fleece attached and the pelt or skin of any animal that is preserved through taxidermy, or for the purpose of taxidermy, are not considered fur products.
Exemptions to the proposal include used products by an individual, excluding a retail transaction, nonprofit organization or second hand store, including a pawn shop and fur products required for use in the practice of a religion.
Penalties for violating the act are for a first violation, a civil penalty of up to $500; for a second violation that occurred within one year of a previous violation, a civil penalty of up to $750; and for a third violation that occurred within one year of a second violation, a civil penalty $1,000.
The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration where Sen. Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown) has introduced the bill (2022-S 2646).