ANN ARBOR, MI — The future is fur-free, animal rights activists told Ann Arbor officials Monday night, Aug. 16.

City Council responded by voting 10-0 to give the final OK to a new ordinance banning sales of fur products in the city.

“This is yesterday’s business,” said Council Member Jeff Hayner, D-1st Ward, lead sponsor of the proposal.

Hayner called it a logical next step for humanity and animal rights to push back against the fur trade.

“Furriers need to go the way of the buggy-whip makers, you might say,” he said. “And they will and they are, and the world will be better for it.”

The ban takes effect in one year, giving retailers time to sell existing inventory and keep existing order commitments.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person may not sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, or otherwise distribute for monetary or non-monetary consideration a new fur product in the city,” the ordinance states.

It prescribes a $500 penalty for each violation.

The ordinance lists some allowable exemptions, including used fur products such as those sold by vintage and second-hand clothing stores, and fur products used for traditional tribal, cultural or spiritual purposes by Native Americans, or fur products used in practicing religion.

The reasons for the fur ban are articulated in detail in the ordinance.

“Animals that are slaughtered for their fur endure tremendous suffering,” it states. “Animals raised on fur farms typically spend their entire lives in cramped unsanitary cages. Animals raised on fur farms are inhumanely killed by suffocation, electrocution, gassing and neck-breaking. Animals trapped in their native habitats are subject to ensnarement in foothold traps, body-gripping straps, snares and cable restraints for multiple days.”

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