Proposed NYC Ban Worries Furriers, Chasidim, Others

25 Jun 2019

A proposed fur ban in the New York City Council threatens not only 150 stores in the city that earn most of their income through fur sales but also Hasidic Jews and other communities. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson introduced the legislation, saying, “As an animal lover, I believe it is cruel to kill an animal just for the purpose of people buying and wearing a fur coat. There is really no need for this.”

According to Fur NYC, which opposes the ban, the affected businesses employ about 1,110 people, not including others in their supply chains. “A fur ban would be catastrophic to New York City — eliminating a historic manufacturing community, along with thousands of jobs for New Yorkers who’ve never made another living and millions of tax revenue that fund critical government programs that help New Yorkers,” the organization stated.

Among groups opposing the ban are Hasidic Jews, who often wear fur hats known as shtreimels. Made from the tails of sables and foxes, the hats can cost as much as $5,000.

The legislation includes a religious exemption that would allow the sale of fur to those who use it as part of their faith but Councilman Chaim Deutsch of Brooklyn nevertheless opposes the ban. “If we ban fur and then you have people that are still out there wearing it,” he said, “(then) people will be targeted on the streets, saying, ‘Why are you wearing this if there’s a fur ban?’”

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