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Will West Hollywood Become 'Fur Free' Capital of the United States?

It was probably only a matter of time that the "fur free" movement would come to West Hollywood, and now it's officially here, with West Hollywood City Council candidate John D'Amico making it an issue on the campaign trail.

"West Hollywood has the opportunity to once again be a leader for animal welfare by becoming the first fur free city in the nation," D'Amico's campaign web site reads. "We have pledged to be a place that is free of cruelty to animals and we can no longer support the barbaric fur trade by selling the products of that cruelty in our city."

D'Amico points out that, in 1989, West Hollywood City Council members passed one of those well-meaning, headline-grabbing resolutions and proclaimed West Hollywood to be a "Cruelty Free Zone for Animals."

D'Amico's web site says it's "time to further the effort to make good on that promise" and end the selling of fur in West Hollywood.

Indeed.

Animal rights activists are probably pleased as punch about D'Amico's call for a "fur free" West Hollywood, which would turn the small, 1.9-square-mile city into the Fur Free Capital of the United States.

But it would sure put a crimp on fashion designers and retailers who have stores in West Hollywood.

We're not saying these folks use fur in their collections or sell clothing with fur, but such designers and retailers as Maxfield, Alexander McQueen, John Varvatos, 3.1 Philip Lim, Armani Exchange, and numerous others will probably have no leeway to do anything with fur if West Hollywood politicians approve a ban.

City Council members may make exceptions of some sort -- look at its confusing proposed outdoor smoking ban ordinance -- but exactly who's going to enforce a fur free ordinance? The L.A. County Sheriff's Department, which patrols West Hollywood?

There will be a "fur free" rally in West Hollywood on Saturday, January 29, at the intersection of Santa Monica and Crescent Heights boulevards at 12 noon.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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