Thursday, February 21, 2019

For Immediate Release

Assemblymember Brian Maienschein and Social Compassion in Legislation Introduce Bill to Expand California Ban on Sale of Exotic Animal Skins

AB 1260 would add hippopotamus’, sharks, stingrays, and many reptiles to a list that already includes big cats, polar bears, dolphins, and other threatened or endangered species

February 21, 2019 (Sacramento, CA) – As California continues its path as a leader in environmental preservation and animal welfare, Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (San Diego) and Social Compassion in Legislation today announced the introduction of AB 1260, a new bill to ban the sale of the skins of several exotic and vulnerable animals for commercial use. In a January 2019 poll conducted on behalf of Social Compassion in Legislation, a full 75% of Californians said they would support such a ban, with 83.9% of those saying their support is strong.

“Californians like to do what’s right and have supported legislation to protect animals,” said Assemblymember Maienschein . “Maybe there was a time when our ancestors needed to wear the skin from a stingray or of a hippopotamus, but that time is long gone. These are fashion choices, plain and simple, and they are destroying biodiversity around the world. I’m proud to be taking steps to eliminate a market for these unnecessary and destructive products.”

“Our polling shows that this measure is extremely popular across the state, with Californians broadly opposing the cruel practice of skinning rare animals alive to make clothes,” added Judie Mancuso, CEO and Founder of Social Compassion in Legislation . “This bill will have a macroeconomic effect on this barbaric industry, removing a major market from companies that kill various lizards, hippos, stingrays, and sharks for their skin.”

Major fashion brands often skin animals alive to make their products or use third-party vendors that do. California law already includes bans on several species of animal skin, but AB 1260 will bring the list further in line with the will of the people of California. Many companies, including Adidas, Adolfo Dominguez, Ann Inc., Arcadia Group (which owns Topshop), ASOS, bebe, Chanel, H&M, Hugo Boss, L Brands (which owns Victoria’s Secret), Mango, Nike, Nine West,, Puma, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, VF Corporation, among others, already have policies in place against the use of exotic animal skins.

“PETA’s many thousand California members herald this bill which will abate enormous suffering of animals who, as our exposes have shown, are often skinned alive overseas for nothing more than a handbag or belt,” said Ingrid E. Newkirk, President of PETA .

“I hope the legislature is supportive and passes this bill quickly,” Mancuso said. “These animals need their skin far more than we do.