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A bill to ban fur farming in the US state of Rhode Island passed the House of Representatives on 28th April 2022 by a vote of 47 to 10 and is now before the state’s Senate. The House bill was introduced by the Majority Whip Katherine S. Kazarian, D-East Providence, at the request of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). This is a pre-empting ban as Rhode Island does not have any fur farms at the moment (but without the ban, one could be built in the future).

If passed, the legislation would ban the sale of new fur products such as clothing and fashion accessories starting in four years, but it would exempt items “converted into leather or which in processing will have the hair, fleece, or fur fibre completely removed.”

Fur farms slaughter animals using the cheapest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gas, and poison. The bill reads, “Considering the wide array of alternatives for fashion and apparel, the general assembly finds that the demand for fur products does not justify the unnecessary killing and cruel treatment of animals, harm to the environment, and the public health risks to the people of Rhode Island caused by these practices.”

Joanne Bourbeau, the northeast regional director of the Humane Society, commented, “Rhode Island…has shown time and time again that it does not tolerate animal cruelty…There’s simply no way to humanely produce fur. Every year over 100 million animals … are killed for their fur.” 

Similar legislation has been filed this year in Massachusetts, Washington, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia. Fur farming has already been banned in many other countries, including  Austria, the UK, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Czechia, Denmark, Hungary, Japan, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Norway, Estonia, France, Ireland, Italy, and Belgium.