By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — There’s a push to ban fur sales in Massachusetts. Democratic Sen. John Velis, of Westfield, and Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis, of Framingham, are sponsoring House and Senate bills with a goal of “prohibiting the sale of fur products” in the state.

The proposals argue that “eliminating the sale of certain fur products in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will promote community awareness of animal welfare and, in turn, will foster a more humane environment in Massachusetts.”

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The text of the bill says animals raised for their fur live in cramped, inhumane conditions and “endure tremendous suffering” when slaughtered.

“Considering the many alternatives available for fashion and apparel. . . the demand for fur products does not justify the unnecessary killing and cruel treatment of animals,” the bill states.

The ban on fur product sales would include fur handbags, shoes, slippers and hats. Leather, cowhide, shearling and previously owned fur products would be exempt.

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The Humane Society of the United States said Massachusetts would become the first East Coast state to ban fur sales. The town of Wellesley banned fur sales last year.

“The fur industry’s days are clearly numbered,” said Laura Hagen, the Massachusetts state director for the HSUS, in a statement. “One just needs to look at cities like Wellesley and Los Angeles banning fur sales, major brands dropping fur, and top fur-producing countries like Norway and the Netherlands outlawing fur farming.”

Violators could be fined up to $5,000 per fur product sold, according to the bill.

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CBSBoston.com Staff