This week, Oregon State Representative Rob Nosse (D-Portland) introduced House Bill 2676 prohibiting the sale of new fur products throughout the state. The bill, if made law, would make it a misdemeanor to sell or distribute new fur products and would apply to the sale and manufacture of products such as clothing and accessories that contain fur. However, it exempts leather, cowhide, and shearling; fur products used for religious purposes; and used fur. The bill is endorsed by animal-welfare groups Compassionate PDX, Humane Voters Oregon, Animal Defenders International, In Defense of Animals, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Bill 2676’s first committee hearing is expected to occur this spring.

Fur farming spreads disease

In the last year, mink have been shown to be highly susceptible to COVID-19. In Denmark, a mutated strain of COVID-19 passed from farmed mink to humans, and the country’s prime minister has since ordered the killing of all mink on fur farms in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. Last month, Sweden suspended mink fur farming for the duration of 2021 in an effort to stop the spread of the virus after COVID-19 was found on 13 of the country’s approximately 40 mink farms.

“It is increasingly clear that the fur industry exacerbates the spread of disease like COVID-19,” Nosse said. “By limiting the sale of this cruel and unnecessary product, we can prepare for the next pandemic and create a more safe and humane Oregon.”

The second state to ban fur

If passed into law, Bill 2676 would make Oregon the second state, after California, to ban the sale of fur products within its borders. Major fashion houses—including Burberry, Juicy Couture, Coach, DKNY, and Versace—have already adopted fur-free policies. Connecticut, Hawaii, and Rhode Island have also introduced similar legislation this session.