The Minneapolis City Council has the authority to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur products within our great city.
They have broad power to protect our health, protect our environment, and create a more humane ethos within our city. We believe that if we express this problem with respect, attention to detail, and authenticity we will achieve our goal of banning fur in this city.
We know that the fur industry thrives on violence, is motivated by profit, and regularly misinforms the public. Our motives are at odds with theirs. We are volunteers focused on protecting life, telling the truth, and eliminating harm. This is the right thing to do, it’s the right time to do it, and the animals deserve our help.
We believe that every life on this planet should be free from human violence.
Over 50 million animals are killed for their fur every year.
Minks, foxes, and rabbits on fur farms are often confined in cages barely bigger than their bodies.
In the day of countless varieties of adequate fabrics, there is no need for this brutal industry.
West Hollywood (2011), Berkeley (2017), San Francisco (2018), and Los Angeles (2018) have already banned fur. These bans have been successfully defended in court. Fourteen countries in Europe have banned fur production entirely.
Fur Free Retailer is the world’s leading program to connect fur-free companies to consumers seeking ethical goods. The online Fur Free Retailer list provides consumers accurate information about a retailer’s fur policy, allowing them to make an informed choice when shopping. The program specifically aims to encourage companies to go fur-free and further the spirit of ethical consumerism.
Run in over 25 countries the Fur Free Retailer program is an international initiative of the Fur Free Alliance, a coalition of more than 40 leading animal and environmental protection organizations worldwide, representing millions of supporters around the world.
This is totally unnecessary.
The fur industry tricks buyers.
Investigations have shown that products are often mislabeled as imitation fur when in fact they are real. Consumers deserve to know the truth about what they are buying. Some reports have even shown that products are mislabeled, when it fact they are made from dog and cat fur from China and other countries that do not have protections for these animals, like the United States of America does.
Minneapolis residents: find your Ward with the map tool and include that info, this is essential in our organizing efforts to pass this ordinance.
Note: If you don’t live in Minneapolis you should still sign up and contact the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor, identify where you do live and always be polite, firm and clear that you want them to support this ban on the sale of new fur items.
How to Ban Fur in Minneapolis
Call, Write, Sign the online Petition, and Email the City Council Members and the Mayor
Calling Your City Council Member is Important (numbers below). Always be polite, firm and clear.
Here are links to letters you can mail in, one for Minneapolis residents and one for non-Minneapolis residents.
Council Members and Mayor’s Office
Minneapolis City Council
350 S. 5th St., Room 307 - Minneapolis, MN 55415 (same for all City Councilor Members)
Find your Ward with the map above in the Sign Up section or click here.
Ward 01 - Kevin Reich - (612) 673-2201 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 02 - Cam Gordon - (612) 673-2202 - email@example.com
Ward 03 – Steve Fletcher - (612) 673-2203 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 04 - Phillipe Cunningham - (612) 673-2204 - Ward4GeneralInbox@minneapolismn.gov
Ward 05 - Jeremiah Ellison - (612) 673-2205 - contact form
Ward 06 - Abdi Warsame - (612) 673-2206 - contact form
Ward 07 - Lisa Goodman - (612) 673-2207 - contact form
Ward 08 - Andrea Jenkins - (612) 673-2208 - contact form
Ward 09 - Alondra Cano - (612) 673-2209 - contact form
Ward 10 - Lisa Bender - (612) 673-2210 - contact form
Ward 11 - Jeremy Schroeder - (612) 673-2211 - contact form
Ward 12 - Andrew Johnson - (612) 673-2212 - contact form
Ward 13 - Linea Palmisano - (612) 673-2213 - contact form
Mayor Jacob Frey’s Office
Mailing Address for Mayor’s Office: 350 S. 5th St., Room 331 - Minneapolis, MN 55415
612-673-2100 - contact form
Fur Free Minneapolis Coalition
These groups have joined us in making minneapolis a fur free city
Humane Dane - https://www.meetup.com/Humane-Dane/
Questions and Answers about Banning Animal Fur
Q: Won’t this hurt the city by getting rid of an established business and taking away jobs?
A: Industries are routinely regulated in the United States and even in Minneapolis. Some examples include Minneapolis outlawing the use of bullhooks to protect elephants brought within city limits (64.90 portion k) and raising the tobacco buying age from 18 to 21 to protect public health. A few examples of beneficial Federal legislation including illegalizing lead in paint and gasoline greatly improving public health and the passage of the Dog and Cat Protection Act, to protect companion animals from the fur trade.
This ordinance will not force any business to close its doors. In fact we are expecting that businesses selling new fur will simply adjust what they sell to exclude animal furs. In fact, changing away from animal fur sales will align businesses with popular opinion and set them up for success into the future.
We love Minneapolis and want it to continue to thrive as a city of compassion, inclusivity, equality, and environmental leadership. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and other City Council Members have made bold statements about protecting the environment and animals, both through policy action and urging citizens to change their buying choices.
We know that the other major cities that have eliminated the sale of new fur products have not been economically harmed by doing so. San Francisco and Los Angeles even report that more people are drawn to living in a city where compassion is valued!
Q: I’ve heard that faux/imitation furs are made of plastic or petroleum and are therefore worse for the environment than wearing animal furs. Is that true?
A: The fur industry claims to be environmentally friendly, but that is a recent development to try to defend its horrendous environmental record. The fur industry has driven animals to extinction and routinely kills endangered animals and species that are critical to ecosystems. The now extinct sea mink is an example of a species that fell victim to this consumptive industry.
Each year the tens of millions of animals kept in battery cages on fur-factory farms also cause huge environmental problems. These suffering animals are often diseased from terrible living conditions but attract curious wild animals and introduce illness to the native populations. The animals kept in these battery cages occasionally escape, and if they are not native to where they are confined, they create an imbalance in the local ecosystem, which is sometimes referred to as an invasive species. This is why Japan banned all mink farming.
Streams and rivers are routinely polluted with nitrogen and phosphorus from animal feces from the animals on fur farms. This unnecessary additional pollution is hitting local waterways at a time when fresh water is more precious than ever.
There is a poisonous combination of industrial chemicals used to preserve (“tanning” and “dressing”) rotting animals furs, including formaldehyde, chromium VI, alkylphenol ethoxylates, azo dyes, and chlorinated phenols. These toxic substances contaminate local environments and landfills.
While plastics are used in some imitation fur products, they have a much smaller environmental impact than real fur. Imitation furs are very sustainable and are often produced from recycled plastics, organic cotton, hemp, and other environmentally positive products.
Q: Can’t fur bearing animals be trapped and farmed in ethical ways that reduce the animals’ suffering? Instead of banning fur, can’t we just regulate fur farming and trapping and improve the animals’ living conditions?
A: The fur industry keeps fur bearing animals in tiny wire battery cages with no ability to exhibit normal behaviors like running, swimming and caring for their young. The fur industry is not regulated for animal protection in any way. This means that the animals at fur farms are subject to the worst aspects of a profit-driven industry and to the most horrendous conditions you can imagine (do an internet search for “fur factory farm” if you want to see).
The fur industry has fought to remain unregulated and its claim that it can improve conditions at fur farms is nothing more than lip service, designed to stop progress on this issue of banning fur products. If this industry were really concerned with how animals are treated they would immediately work to invest in animal and environmental friendly alternatives to real animal fur.
In Germany, laws were passed to improve the welfare for foxes and minks, giving them more space and water. Those regulations shut down the industry because it needs to intensively confine these animals, to the point of torture, in order to maximize profits.
Q: Fur is often used as a fashion symbol. Wouldn’t it be stifling artists and major fashion brands if we said they can’t use fur in their product lines?
A: Not in the least! Artists are some of the most creative and inspiring people in our society. They have shown time and again that they can adjust the materials that they use in the most ingenious ways to continue to wow the public.
Violence towards animals is NOT good style. Major fashion brands are stopping their use of fur and taking a public stance that it is wrong and unnecessary. Armani, Hugo Boss, Coach, Michael Kors, Gucci, and hundreds of other companies have chosen to go fur free.
Q: Isn’t banning fur, or any product, un-American because it limits our freedom?
A: It’s true that Americans love their freedoms, but we also have a strong sense of fairness and a desire for animals to have basic protections from human violence. We have many laws in this country that give animals protection. We also have laws against damaging the environment. We believe that our country is made better with smart laws that protect the most at-risk and vulnerable people, places and creatures.
There is precedent to protect some animals from the fur trade. The Federal Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 (19 U.S.C. Section 1308) makes it unlawful to import into, or export from, the United States any dog or cat fur product. However, the fur industry in China, where many fur products sold in the U.S. originate, still regularly confines, kills, and skins cats and dogs. Those products can be mislabeled and sold to unknowing buyers in the United States as rabbit or fox.
We also believe that when people see the unnecessary confinement and slaughter that fur bearing animals go through, all for a human vanity, they will all agree that we can and will do better for these animals.
Q: Isn’t most fur just a by-product that comes from animals that were already killed for some other reason?
A: That couldn’t be further from the truth, but of course the fur industry would like us to think this. Mink, foxes and chinchillas are the most common animals confined in cages on factory fur farms. These wild animals are bred, caged and killed exclusively for their fur. Their dead bodies are often burned on site or ground up and fed back to the other mink and foxes.
Animals trapped in the wild are also specifically trapped for their fur. Their dead bodies are often discarded out in nature or kept and used as bait to kill more wild animals.
Q: What about fur from animals that are overpopulated or are invasive species?
A: Many people believe that humans have to manage nature to improve it and keep it in balance, especially populations of predators. However, science and common sense show us that nature will balance the populations of animals in a given ecosystem and through natural predator and prey cycles. These cycles typically involve years where species will have more offspring and years where they will have fewer or none.
Millions of years of perfecting species relationships has created an incredibly stable system. When humans come into ecosystems, kill predators, and hunt the most healthy and majestic animals, it throws systems into chaos.
In Yellowstone, the return of wolves helped balance the ecosystem, restore biodiversity, change the flow of rivers, and improve the health of local populations of grazing animals.
We now know that one of the best things we can do to help landscapes and the diversity of species heal is to help predators thrive in those locations. Animals like mink, fox, coyotes, bobcats, lynx, mountain lions and wolves are crucial to that happening.
Q: Don’t we need animal fur to stay warm in the winter?
A: It’s true that in the past humans have used animal furs to stay warm. However, humans have also traditionally used fabrics like cotton, hemp, and linen to clothe themselves and stay warm. In our modern society, with countless consumer options, it has never been easier to choose warm products that do not harm animals.
Fur products are not an efficient or affordable way to stay warm. Fur products are expensive luxury items that are used as status symbols by those that are ignorant or indifferent to the harm these products are causing animals and the environment.
Fur is expensive and monetarily out of reach for most people whereas other cotton and faux fur products are affordable and extremely warm, even in the coldest of climates.
Q: Aren’t people who want to ban fur sales just crazy animal extremists?
A: The fur industry wants their supporters to believe that the people working to ban their cruel industry are “crazy”, “extremist”, “irrational” and “violent” but the truth is far from what they claim.
The reality is that people who care about basic animal protections and the environment come from all walks of life, all genders, ages, professions, political leanings (even United States Senators and Representatives), etc. The people that support Fur Free Minneapolis are volunteers that see an opportunity to improve our community and we’re doing something about it.
We believe that systems of oppression and violence are connected and feed upon themselves. We also believe that kindness, compassion, and giving a helping hand can also be contagious.
Fur Free Minneapolis is made up of people that love Minneapolis and want to see it continue to embody the principles of compassion environmental stewardship and ethical business development.
Q: Is it possible that dog and cat fur is sold in the U.S. even though we have strict laws forbidding it?
A: Yes, it is not only possible, but it’s the reason why we have the law in the U.S. in the first place. Laws are rarely created for things that are not happening. Dogs and cats do not have the same protections in other countries that they do here. In other parts of the world it is common that cats and dogs are eaten and skinned for their fur.
It is technically illegal to sell dog and cat fur in the USA, but it still happens because the fur trade and industry is part of the global economic system and is driven by profit. These laws are also rarely enforced. The Humane Society of the United States performed a fur investigation and found that fur trimmed items imported from China are often mislabeled and are actually cat or dog fur.
Q: What about native Americans? Are you trying to stop their traditions and cultural expressions?
A: We are not interested in restricting anyone’s ability to express themselves culturally. The Minneapolis fur ban will only impact the sale of new fur items and none of the new fur items being sold in Minneapolis are coming from Native American communities. Additionally, there are exemptions in the ordinance for 501(c)3 organizations, which includes religious organizations, to continue to sell fur.
Q: Don’t predators like coyote, mink, bobcats, wolves, and foxes need to be controlled so they don’t kill too much of the local wildlife? Sometimes they even kill dogs, cats and people… right? Isn’t it better that we trap and kill these animals as a control mechanism than to let them run free and harm the environment?
A: Most people are surprised to hear that wolves and other natural predators almost never harm humans. In fact, there is only one known example in the United States where investigators believe a wolf killed a person. Wild animals are far more afraid of humans than humans need to be of them, though respect should always be shown to wild animals.
Humans’ fear of wild animals is largely based on myths, the tendency for us to fear what we don’t know, and a desire to justify our culturally inherited beliefs and behavior. Wild animals exhibit laudable and predictable behaviors like protecting their young, their food and their homes. Coyotes, as one example, are often maligned for being devious and dangerous but that’s just another fallacy spread by people that have a vested interest in harming them.
Far more people are bitten from cats and dogs each year than are ever harmed by wild animals.
It’s true that some cats and dogs are sometimes killed by wild animals, but those wild animals are often just protecting themselves and their families from intruding domesticated animals. Responsible cat and dog owners know that they should always keep an eye on their companion animals and that dogs and cats should not be set free to roam places where wild animals live. This type of responsible cat and dog care taking ensures the safety of companion animals as well as the safety of the wild animals.
Having a diverse and healthy population of wild predators and other fur bearing animals in any ecosystem brings balance and also inspires humans when we visit those places and see the wild ones living free.
Q: Do dogs and cats ever got caught in traps?
A: Yes, cats and dogs do get caught in traps. It is common in Minnesota for dogs and cats to get caught, maimed and killed in traps set all throughout the state. Some groups in Minnesota like our coalition partner the Humane Society of the United States are working to make the outdoors safer for cats and dogs. At Fur Free Minneapolis we know that passing this ordinance will reduce demand for fur products and protect more companion animals from a horrendously painful and often lethal experience with a trap.