Fur Ballot Initiative Denver 2024 — Official Legislation Text

Ballot Title:

Shall the voters of the City and County of Denver adopt an ordinance concerning a prohibition of fur products, and, in connection, beginning July 1, 2025, prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, display, sale, or trade of certain animal fur products in the City; and providing limited exceptions to the prohibition?

Proposed Ordinance:

Be it enacted by the City and County of Denver,

Chapter 8 of the D.R.M.C. is amended by the addition of a new Article VIII to read as follows:

ARTICLE VIII. – FUR PRODUCTS

Sec. 8 – 156. – Legislative Intent

  1. The People of the City of Denver find that:
    1. Animals that are slaughtered for their fur endure tremendous suffering. Animals raised on fur farms typically spend their entire lives in cramped and filthy cages. Fur farmers typically use the cheapest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gas, and poison.
    2. Fur farms are reservoirs and transmission vectors for dangerous zoonotic diseases, including SARS coronaviruses, that threaten public health, including in the City of Denver. COVID-19 infections have been confirmed at fur farms in Europe and the United States, and scientific studies have linked mink, raccoon dogs, and foxes – the animals most commonly farmed for their fur – to a variety of coronaviruses.
    3. Considering the wide array of alternatives for fashion and apparel, the demand for fur products does not justify the unnecessary killing and cruel treatment of animals.
    4. Eliminating the sale of fur products in the City of Denver will promote community awareness of animal welfare and, in turn, will foster a more humane environment in the City.

Sec. 8 – 157. – Fur Product Prohibitions.

  1. It shall be unlawful to manufacture for sale, sell, display for sale, distribute, or trade for monetary or nonmonetary consideration any Fur Product in the City. 
  2. For purposes of this section, the sale of a fur product shall be deemed to occur in the City of Denver if the buyer takes physical possession of the fur product in the City of Denver; or the seller is located in the City of Denver.
  3. This prohibition does not extend to:
    1.  A Fur Product where the activity is expressly authorized by federal or state law;
    2. A Fur Product purchased for traditional tribal, cultural, or spiritual purposes by a member of a federally recognized or state recognized Native American tribe;
    3. A Used Fur Product bought, sold, donated or owned by a person not in the primary business of selling Fur Products, including a Non-Profit Organization, second hand store, or pawn shop; or
    4. The manufacture for sale of a Fur Product using Fur sourced exclusively from a Used Fur Product.  

Sec. 8 – 158. – Definitions.

  1. For the purposes of this article, the term fur means any animal skin or part thereof with hair, fleece or fur fibers attached thereto, either in its raw or processed state; or such hair, fleece, or fur fibers detached from any animal skin and re-attached to another material. 
  2. For the purposes of this article, the term fur product means any product made in whole or in part of fur and processed for sale to consumers, such as any article of clothing or covering for any part of the body or fashion accessory including, but not limited to, a coat, jacket, handbag, purse, wallet, shoe, slipper, hat, earmuff, scarf, shawl, glove, jewelry or keychain, or home accessories and decor including, but not limited to, rugs, blankets, and wall hangings. “Fur Product” does not include any of the following;
    1. An animal skin or part thereof that is to be converted into leather, or which in processing will have the hair, fleece, or fur fiber completely removed;
    2. Cowhide with the hair attached thereto;
    3. Lambskin or sheepskin with the fleece attached thereto; or
    4. Wool or other fibers from livestock as defined by C.R.S. 18-9-201.
    5. The pelt or skin of any animal that is preserved through taxidermy or for the purpose of taxidermy.
  3. For the purposes of this section, the term non-profit organization means any charity or corporation that is authorized under United States Code 26 Section 501(c)(3) for charitable, religious, philanthropic, educational or other similar purposes.
  4. For the purposes of this section, the term taxidermy means the practice of preparing and preserving the skin and Fur of a deceased animal or part of a deceased animal that is stuffed and mounted in a lifelike form.
  5. For the purposes of this section, the term used fur product means a Fur Product in any form which has been previously owned by an ultimate consumer.
  6. For the purposes of this section, the term ultimate consumer means an individual who buys a fur product for their own use, or for the use of another, but not for resale or trade.

Sec. 8 – 159. – Effective Date.

  1. This Article VIII shall be effective on July 1st, 2025.