CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 2480 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Tuesday, July 27, 2010, under a motion to suspend the rules, requiring a two-thirds vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) on May 19, 2009. The Committee on Energy and Commerce ordered the bill reported by voice vote on July 15, 2010.
H.R. 2480 would require labels for products that contain a relatively small quantity or value of fur, thereby ending the exemption under current law that covers items with value of up to $150.
The bill would require the Federal Trade Commission to publish in the Federal Register a notice of, and opportunity to comment on, a review of the Fur Products Name Guide within 90 days of enactment of the bill. The guide is a register that includes the names of hair- fleece- and fur-bearing animals.
The bill exempts fur obtained through trapping and hunting if the trapper or hunter sells the fur in-person at homes, craft fairs and other sites, and the income from such activities does not serve as the individual's primary source of income. Additionally, H.R. 2480 does not prevent state or local governments from adopting or enforcing laws that would provide more restrictive labeling requirements for fur products.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there has been d a proliferation of falsely labeled and falsely advertised dog fur on clothing sold in the U.S. Of the fur-trimmed jackets subjected to mass testing, 96 percent were found to contain hair from domestic dogs, wolves or raccoons, and either were mislabeled or not labeled at all.
Half of all fur garments entering the U.S. come from China. The Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000 banned the trade in dog and cat fur after an investigation revealed the death toll at 2 million animals each year and found domestic dog fur for sale in the U.S.
Currently, the Fur Products Labeling Act exempts garments with a "relatively small quantity or value" of fur from a requirement that the product have labels disclosing the name of the species, the manufacturer, the country of origin and other pertinent information for consumers. The Federal Trade Commission defines that value as $150, an amount that allows multiple animal pelts on a garment without a label.
The Congressional Budget Office has not produced a cost estimate for H.R. 2480 as of press time.