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San Francisco Becomes the Largest U.S. City to Ban Fur Sales

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San Francisco has become the largest U.S. city to ban fur sales after the city’s Board of Supervisors voted on legislation Tuesday.

The ban will go into effect on January 1, 2019, and gives retailers until January 2020 to sell of their existing fur stock. The fur prohibition applies to clothing items and accessories that contain real animal fur.

With Tuesday’s decision, San Francisco becomes the third California city to ban the sale of real fur, after Berkeley and West Hollywood.

Animal rights advocates have hailed the decision as a positive step away from animal cruelty. The Humane Society called the ban on fur sales a “historic victory” for animals killed for fur.

But for San Francisco retailers, the fur ban represents another decision by the city that hurts small business. Benjamin Lin, an owner of a fur showroom in San Francisco told the Associated Press he might start selling fur somewhere outside the city.

“I cannot fight it,” he said when asked about the ban. “I will not win. I do not have the energy and the money.”

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Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com