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California Furthers Fur Ban
News Bytes 09/16/2019 11 Comments

California on Wednesday became the first state to ban commercial fur trapping. The move ends the practice nearly 200 years after animals like beavers and otters introduced the American West to international trade.

About a year and a half ago, San Francisco became the largest U.S. city to ban the sale of fur. (See “San Fran Fur Ban.”) That made it a bit more difficult for the fur industry to promote its finished wares. But this California law goes directly to the source.

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday he had signed a bill into law making it illegal to trap animals for the purposes of recreation or to sell their fur. It is still legal to trap animals for other purposes, including pest control and public health.

Before the gold rush put California on the map, it was fur traders who first flocked to the far-flung territory. They came in search of the area’s plentiful beavers, minks, and badgers. The so-called “fur rush” made fur trappers a symbol of the Old West.

But in recent years, California licenses for fur trappers have declined. In 2018, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said it sold 133 licenses. Trappers reported a harvest of 1,568 animals and the sale of 1,241 pelts. A study noted that most furs are sold outside of California. The data suggests there have been no fur sales in the state for the past three years.

But California has issued about 500 trapping licenses a year for pest control and other uses. People who trap animals for those purposes are not required to report how many animals they capture.

Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego is the legislator who wrote the bill. She calls fur trapping “a cruel practice that has no place in 21st-century California.”

Governor Newsom’s office appealed to public sentiment by including a photo of an otter puppet in the online announcement. The puppet appears to be saying, “My friends & I should not have to live in fear of being trapped & our fur being sold!”

Environmental groups oppose fur trapping because they claim it contributes to declining animal populations. But other groups, including the California Farm Bureau Federation, opposed the bill. They argue ranchers and farmers hire commercial trappers to control wildlife and protect crops. They fear banning trapping and the sale of fur will end that practice.

(Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez speaks in favor of her bill that now makes it illegal to trap animals in California for recreation or to sell their fur. AP Photo)

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Most recent comments

I think that it is wrong to

I think that it is wrong to kill animals for fun, but what about animals that eat crops? I think this bill will be both good and bad.


I think that trapping to sell the furs should be legal, but they need a limit on the number they can trap.

@ Lena P

Animals that eat crops are animals too, and we can protect the crops so they won't get into them.

I think people are going to resist this at first, but after a while it will work out.


I think it's alright to trap animals for food but not for fun!! If your going to kill them then eat them! if your not going to eat them then don't kill them! I think It should be aloud to fur trap but there should be a limit so people would not kill all of the animals. But I don't think it should bee forbidden!

I think they should trap the

I think they should trap the animals that truly need to go and sell their fur, but not just for fur.


I think California is going a little to extreme on some things about "saving" the world and animals. God asks us to take care of the things He blessed us with, but they don't need to go over the top. Pretty soon those animals could start getting to be to many.

@ janna

Amen!! I agree! I've been wanting to say that but then Zack w will want to debate with me.( which I don't mind) I agree 100%

I think ......

it's really sad that are killing those animals.

Janna (Daniel's sister)

@ Nadia A. LOL =)

Yay. Now there will be more

Yay. Now there will be more animals and they won't go extinct

11th comment

Yay I agree Lorelei E

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