May 6, 2014
Federal Court: West Hollywood Prohibition on Fur Sales Stands
Decision dismisses constitutional challenge to humane law
A federal court has upheld the City of West Hollywood’s municipal prohibition on the sale of animal fur apparel. Chief Judge George H. King wrote the opinion for the United States District Court for the Central District of California, dismissing a constitutional challenge filed by a retailer to the ordinance.
King wrote that West Hollywood’s intent to “promote community awareness of animal welfare, foster the City’s goal to be a community that cares about animal welfare, and further the City’s reputation as Cruelty Free Zone for animals” by prohibiting fur sales was a “legitimate interest,” rejecting claims that the ban was unconstitutional.
The opinion cited an amicus curiae brief filed by The Humane Society of the United States in support of West Hollywood. Ralph Henry, deputy director for The HSUS’ Animal Protection Litigation Group, issued the following statement in response:
“West Hollywood is one of the nation’s most animal-friendly cities – a notion that’s just incompatible with the inhumane treatment of fur-bearing animals. We applaud the Court’s decision to uphold the City’s groundbreaking ordinance. The ruling makes clear that the Constitution does not prevent West Hollywood or any other city from using its lawmaking powers to protect animals by prohibiting the sale of cruelly-produced products.”
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