In Defense of Animals To Rally For A Fur-Free West Hollywood

In Defense of Animals will be part of a rally to kick off a campaign to make West Hollywood the first city in the nation and world to declare themselves fur-free.

West Hollywood, Calif. January 28, 2011 - In Defense of Animals (IDA) has joined a coalition of activists and local residents and will participate in a rally to kick off a campaign to make West Hollywood the first city in the nation and world to declare themselves fur-free.  The rally takes place Saturday, January 29, 12:00 noon-2 p.m. at Matthew Shepard Human Rights Triangle park, Santa Monica and Crescent Heights boulevards.

“In 2001, West Hollywood passed an IDA-sponsored resolution to use the term 'guardian' to replace 'owner' when referring to residents' relationship to animal companions,” said IDA's Regional Director, Bill Dyer, “because forward thinking city council members wanted to acknowledge their city's compassionate relationship with other species. Now is another precedent setting opportunity for this city to be the first city ever to go fur-free.”

In addition to passing the “Guardian” language, the progressive West Hollywood City Council has also passed a historic ban on declawing cats, and banned the sale of dogs and cats within city limits. In 1989, West Hollywood was proclaimed a "Cruelty Free Zone for Animals" when it passed Resolution Number 558, banning cosmetic testing on animals and steel-jaw leghold traps.

Each year the fur industry kills more than 50 million animals, whether raised in factory farm-like conditions or trapped in the wild. Recent investigations also show domestic dogs and cats are killed for fur, especially fur trim on garments imported from China, often improperly labeled "faux." Last month, President Obama signed the Truth in Fur Labeling Act to require all real animal fur to be correctly labeled.

"IDA is proud to once again work with the  progressive city council of West Hollywood towards this landmark initiative to make this city fur-free” said IDA's Chief Executive Officer, Anand Ramanathan. “Fur farming and production is notoriously and inherently cruel, and every opportunity to ban or restrict the sale of fur saves countless animals' lives” he added.

Comedian Carol Leifer, bestselling author Rory Freedman, and West Hollywood City Council candidate John D'Amico, who is spearheading the initiative, will speak among others from various animal protection organizations including In Defense of Animals.

"West Hollywood has the opportunity to once again be a leader for animal welfare by becoming the first fur-free city in the nation," said D'Amico. "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."

For more information about In Defense of Animals' campaigns against the fur industry, please visit www.furkills.org .

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Contact: Bill Dyer, IDA's Regional Director, Southern California, 310-301-7730 bill@idausa.org

In Defense of Animals, www.idausa.org