Illegal fur found in California during undercover investigation

In August and September 2023, a Humane Society of the United States investigator visited over 25 retailers throughout California to determine if they were complying with AB 44. While many retailers the investigator visited were upholding the law, there were a handful of others displaying and offering illegal fur for sale. Multiple retailers explained to our investigator that they understood they couldn’t sell new fur because of California’s law, but that they would continue to sell it anyway.

At the Beverly Hills location of fashion brand Philipp Plein, which is a German fashion designer whose namesake brand in based in Switzerland, an employee initially said the fur lining the hood of a jacket was not real—noting California’s prohibition on fur sales—but later told the investigator that the fur was, in fact, real raccoon fur. In explaining why the store was selling new fur despite being aware of the law, the store employee stated, “When you have real big fur, you cannot sell but when it’s a small piece like this, they do.”

The Humane Society of the United States is working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure that retailers take the law seriously and help instil confidence among California’s consumers. California residents have overwhelmingly not wanted to contribute to the cruel and unnecessary fur trade. A 2018 poll found that 71% of Californians supported a ban on fur sales.
Assemblymember Friedman, said: “Every year, 100 million animals are bred into captivity, only to live short, cruel lives that end in their abrupt slaughter and skinning for fur. That cruelty flies in the face of California’s environmental ideals and stewardship. Ending the sale of new fur products in California was an historic achievement to which California remains committed. No garment is worth the cost of cruelty to animals.”

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