Oregon State Representative Rob Nosse (D-Portland) has introduced House Bill 2676, to prohibit the sale of new fur products throughout the state. HB2676 is endorsed by Compassionate PDX, Humane Voters Oregon, Animal Defenders International, In Defense of Animals, and PETA.
“It is increasingly clear that the fur industry exacerbates the spread of disease like COVID-19,” said Rep. Rob Nosse. “By limiting the sale of this cruel and unnecessary product, we can prepare for the next pandemic and create a more safe and humane Oregon.”
HB2676 would make it a misdemeanor to sell, offer for sale, display for sale, or otherwise distribute a new fur product in the state. The prohibition would apply to the sale and manufacture of products such as clothing and accessories that contain fur. It exempts leather, cowhide, and shearling; fur products used for religious purposes; and used fur.
“Fur is cruel, archaic and completely unnecessary,” said Amber Canavan, Organizer with Compassionate PDX. “The fur industry was already a crisis for animals and the environment, but the introduction of COVID-19 to Oregon’s mink factory farms make it even more urgent to pass laws like HB2676.” Mink are highly susceptible to COVID-19 and act as reservoirs for the deadly virus on filthy, cramped fur farms, where the virus can be transmitted to workers.
An Oregon fur factory farm was struck by COVID-19; another mink, caught after escaping an Oregon farm, recently tested positive, posing a serious public health risk. In Denmark, a mutated strain passed from farmed mink to humans; that nation has now ordered the killing of 17 million captive mink. Animals bred on fur farms live in cramped and squalid conditions, enduring chronic fear, stress, injuries, infection, and deformities. Common slaughter methods include gassing, broken necks, electrocution (anal or genital); they may even be skinned alive.
“Compassionate Oregon residents do not support the undeniable cruelty or public health risks caused by the fur industry. A statewide fur sales ban is a tremendous step in the right direction to denounce the brutal and dangerous fur trade,” said Julie Massa, Fur Campaigner for In Defense of Animals.
“ADI investigations reveal nightmarish standard fur industry practices, where animals needlessly suffer short, miserable lives in cramped, filthy cages, and cruel ends. COVID-19 exposed this serious contagion risk; the reactionary culling of millions is a tragedy that ignores the real problem. We thank Rep. Nosse for his leadership on this humane and necessary action,” said Christina Scaringe, General Counsel for Animal Defenders International.
HB2676 would make Oregon the second state, after California, to ban the sale of fur products within its borders. Major fashion houses, such as Burberry, Calvin Klein, Coach, Kors, and Columbia Sportswear Company, agree it’s time to end this horrific industry. New York and Connecticut have introduced similar bills relating to statewide prohibitions of fur products this session. Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, and Rhode Island have also introduced similar legislation.
HB2676’s first committee hearing is expected this spring.
Featured image: mink at an Ontario fur farm. Image credit Jo-Anne McArthur / #MakeFurHistory.