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Soon to be furbidden: Cambridge adopts ordinance banning fur sales

The ordinance, approved unanimously by the City Council at its meeting Monday night, will take effect Jan. 1, 2023, pending the approval of the state attorney general’s office.

Cambridge just became the fifth municipality in Massachusetts to ban the sale of fur within its community.

The ordinance, approved unanimously by the City Council at its meeting Monday night, will take effect Jan. 1, 2023, pending the approval of the state attorney general’s office.

In the ordinance, the City Council outlined some concerns about fur including risks to public health, environmental threats related to its production, and the roughly 100 million animals that are killed annually as part of the fur trade.

The ordinance also noted that although no stores in Cambridge currently sell fur, “nothing in our municipal code would prevent fur shops or sales.”

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The ban does have some exemptions including any used fur from secondhand stores, nonprofits, pawn shops, etc., and any “fur product used for traditional tribal, cultural, or spiritual purposes by a member of a federally recognized Native American tribe.”

The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell tweeted about the news, noting that Cambridge joins Wellesley, Weston, Brookline, and Plymouth, which have similar bans in place.

“People don’t realize how prevalent fur still is in winter clothing,” MSPCA advocacy specialist Elizabeth Magner said in a statement. “It’s used in the lining of coat hoods and even sometimes for the pompoms on hats. That’s why it’s important that cities and towns take steps like Cambridge has to ban fur.”

“Consumers are clamoring for cruelty-free fashion,” Magner added. “They’re also concerned about the environmental damage caused by the fur industry, as well as the public health risks, such as diseases like Covid-19 that spread between people and animals.”

Cambridge City Councilor Marc McGovern, who proposed the ordinance, shared his excitement on Twitter, while also thanking the MSPCA, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Fur Free Alliance, and the Humane Society of the United States for “continuing our leadership for animal rights.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Fur-Free Massachusetts were among some of the other groups sharing their support for the news on social media. See below:

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