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Massachusetts voters support ban on fur products

BOSTON (May 30, 2019)—The Humane Society Legislative Fund today released the results of a new survey: the majority of likely 2020 voters in Massachusetts supports a ban on the sale of products containing fur from animals.

The statewide survey, by Lake Research Partners, was conducted in April 2019 online with a cross section of 500 likely voters. It found, when learning how fur is produced:

  • By a margin of 59% to 19%, Massachusetts voters would support legislation banning the sale of clothing and other products containing animal fur.
  • Nearly half of voters would be MORE LIKELY to support a candidate who voted to ban the sale of fur, compared to merely 8% who would be less likely.

Wild animals being caged their entire lives or trapped for days without food or water for fur products is inconsistent with Massachusetts’ role as a leader in animal welfare measures and its reputation as one of the most humane states in the country. The commonwealth’s voters repeatedly have shown deep concern about the well-being of animals, and Massachusetts has some of strictest animal welfare laws and regulations.

"Voters care about the treatment of animals and critically consider a lawmaker’s stance on this important issue,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “From Los Angeles to New York City, governments are reviewing legislation to ban the sale of products containing fur from animals. Massachusetts should be a leader on this issue.”

“The more people learn about the fur industry, the more they’re outraged,” said Dr. Robert Meadow, a partner at Lake Research Partners. “Legislators face virtually no political risk and indeed would benefit politically from sponsoring or supporting measures to ban fur.”

Cambridge Mayor, Marc McGovern said, “As consumers we have choices about what we wear. Animals held in captivity their entire lives or trapped for their fur don’t have options; their lives are permanently decided by our impulses and what’s-in-this-season fads. A just society does not tolerate this type of cruelty and inhumanity, and so will be looking to build upon the work of other cities by banning the sale of fur in Cambridge businesses.”

Every year, over 100 million animals are killed for their fur, including domestic cats and dogs. While in traps, animals sustain significant injuries, including broken limbs and teeth. Some animals chew off their limbs trying to escape, or they die from exposure. Animals raised on farms for fur are often suffocated, strangled or poisoned in order to not damage their fur. Many are skinned alive.

PJ Smith, director of fashion policy for the Humane Society of the United States, said, “With more and more consumers shunning the archaic system of skinning wild animals for their pelts, there is a real opportunity for the industry to adapt and grow and, in the process, create a fur-free future.”

In California, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood have already banned fur sales, and California is poised to ban the sale throughout the state in the coming months. Legislation is currently being reviewed by New York state and New York City lawmakers, as well.

Further, innovative technology has produced an array of alternatives with the same warmth, look and feel as fur, without the cruelty or environmental concerns. Increasing numbers of designers, brands and companies are going fur-free. Fashion brands such as Gucci, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Armani, Burberry, Chanel and most recently Prada, have made the decision to go fur-free.

Internationally, many countries have banned, or are in the process of phasing out, fur farming. These include Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Austria. Sao Paulo, Brazil, banned fur imports and sales in 2015, and India banned fur imports in 2017.

The survey’s margin of error is +/- 4.4 percentage points for 500 adults at the 95% confidence level. Sample tolerances for subgroups are larger. This is one of several polls HSLF and its affiliates are conducting on issues relating to animal welfare. .

Media contact:

Emily Ehrhorn: 202-779-1814, eehrhorn@hslf.org

Maria Katrien Heslin: 202-590-0830, mheslin@humanesociety.org

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The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at animalsandpolitics.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.