NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Angry furriers descended on City Hall Thursday to protest proposed city council legislation to ban the sale of fur apparel and accessories.

They claim it would decimate the industry and result in the loss of hundreds of jobs and billions in revenue over the next decade.

They chanted “Save our jobs! Save our jobs!” Dozens of people who work in the New York City fur industry came to City Hall to tell Council Speaker Corey Johnson to “fur-get” about his proposed ban on the sale of clothing and accessories made of animal skin with hair, fleece, or fur attached.

“We’re here to say we’ve had enough. Enough of the attacks. Enough of the attacks on our families,” said Brooklyn furrier Steven Lilikakis.

The furriers cast the argument in stark economic terms, pointing out that 98 percent of the industry business owners said they would move out of New York City if the ban were to go into effect, taking 1,100 jobs, costing New York City $3.3 billion in revenue in the next decade and leaving lots of empty storefronts.

“I’ve been in the fur business about 35 years now. It’s my livelihood, and now people are trying to take my livelihood,” said fur worker Geoffrey Geters.

“I’m a single dad… this is how I make my income,” said fur stylist Messiah McNeir.

The furriers charge this is just the blown Amazon deal on a smaller scale.

“After Speaker Corey Johnson was one of the people who actually spearheaded Amazon leaving New York City, his job is now to destroy any other kind of viable business,” Lilikakis said.

CBS2’s Marcia Kramer put the question to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I wonder if you’re concerned by the loss of jobs. There are 130 businesses, it’s a $400 million business,” Kramer said.

“I am humanly sympathetic to folks in that industry because it is a loss of jobs,” de Blasio said. “I don’t belittle the concern. If something happens here, there has to be some sense of how to phase it in in a way that really does try to protect some jobs.”

But “El Progresso” de Blasio – who, by the way, now gets around the city in a hybrid SUV – wants to make sure he keeps his liberal base close, Kramer reported.

“I also want to say the impulse of that legislation, I do agree with,” de Blasio said. “Marcia, I’m going to make a controversial announcement. I do not own a mink coat. I do not want a mink coat.”

“Not even a mink-lined parka?” Kramer asked.

“Sorry, Marcia. No mink for me,” he said.

Johnson says the protest did not change his mind.

“I never want to see jobs lost or businesses close,” he said. “But this is the right thing to do.”

Comments (52)
  1. Brenda Robinson says:

    Many people lose their job, sometimes they become obsolete. That’s life. Deal with it. Find another job. No amount of money or jobs justifies the cruel life and death these animals suffer. My job disappeared. I am dealing with it and coping with it. I found a different job. You people can do that too.

  2. Sheila Hollywood says:

    Save the Planet, wear only real fur, a renewable resource.

    1. Tiger Will says:

      sure. Let’s skin YOUR kids, and use them for coats, etc. Who the frack says that animals are worth less in their lives than people? It sounds like a dumb argument, I know, to some…but we have killed more than 60% of ALL ANIMALS on the planet since the 70s. These people can find other jobs in the clothing industry.

      1. Harold Johnson says:

        Tiger, you facts are false. Fur is a renewable resource that is regulated in each state. Fur also breaks down in time and its products are reused in the ecosystem. Your plastics stay forever and fill landfills and literally the ocean. Fur provides jobs far and wide for many people.

  3. Bhargav Dutta says:

    Hello Furriers, why don’t you people do business with your own furs?

  4. Lily Huang says:

    May KARMA tear all these psychopaths apart who deal with fur!! FUR belongs to ANIMALS .. NOT you you greedy assholes !! Hope someday your hides lie as doormat on the gateway to hell! Take your filthy paws off the poor helpless animals !! If you need real jobs be a real man and go to syria and fight ´em terrorists instead of hunting and skinning helpless animals ? no guts for that you pack of cowards??!

  5. Joanne Swolak says:

    Let’s see–somebody loses their job, or somebody loses their life. No contest. Anyone working in the fur trade is a psychopath anyway. I couldn’t give a crap what happens to them.

    1. Harold Johnson says:

      and I could care less what happens to you…..do you have a job or just live off of welfare?

      1. Debbie Kalagian says:

        Harold Johnson Have you been an asshole all of your life? So you just assume that because someone loves animals that they are on welfare? You my dear have a serious mental problem!

        1. Harold Johnson says:

          dish it out but cannot take it? Those are JOBS for people in your city. Much better than living off of welfare. Typical liberal. Cannot win the argument so you resort to name calling, Ha Ha

  6. Yuki Endo says:

    Real furs that made from China is coming from your beloved pet dogs, police’s K9, and service guide dogs. In China, dog butchrs steal people’s dog from private property to make dog meat or dog fur. They don’t care if these dogs work for police or guide dog for disable, blind, etc.
    Fur industry can reopen their store as fur free stories. If Burlington Coat Factory can do it, fur industry can go fur free too.

  7. Maria K. Fotopoulos says:

    Anyone attuned to what’s happening in the world would have seen the tide is turning against wearing the skins and fur of other animals. While I don’t want to see people lose their jobs, they should have been planning an exit to another business that doesn’t involve animal abuse and murder. Can’t justify jobs if the jobs are predicated on an immoral foundation.

  8. Nancy Yeeting says:

    No matter where the fur came from ,The animals are either raised in a cage left to go crazy and no food and water for them regularly,they are skinned alive and left to die in a pile,or a cat or dog from the DCMT that was also skinned alive.Or leg trapped in the wild and left to die from starvation and the element.It is the most inhumane industry,so when they complaint about the loss of income,it’s hard to feel sorry for people that could profit from torturing animals.

  9. Lynn Rosa says:

    Harold Johnson
    YOU: “It is not animal abuse in any sense. If you want that argument, then don’t eat meat at all.” ME: i am vegan. I don’t eat animals.
    YOU:. “Nothing cruel about gathering and maintaining renewable resources by hard working people. ”
    ME: guess you have not seen any undercover videos from fur farms, of how the fur is actually rendered. You call that not cruel??? burnt alive from the insides out (to protect the fur) with hot electric anal rods and one shoved in the mouth – then after that maybe while still alive hung up and skinned. Look up “CRUEL” in websters. SMH

  10. Debbie Kalagian says:

    I see you have a dog on your profile pic. Do you know things are also made from dogs and cats fur just like you are doing? Would you like someone doing that to your dog? Animals own their fur like we own our skin so YES IT IS ANIMAL ABUSE!

    1. Harold Johnson says:

      You live in your city and don’t even understand life in general. I feel sorry for people like you

  11. Harold Johnson says:

    It is not animal abuse in any sense. If you want that argument, then don’t eat meat at all. That is fine with me. Don’t for a second think the rest of us will follow you. Nothing cruel about gathering and maintaining renewable resources by hard working people. Fur will be in many closets long after the last plastic is made. Fur is renewable, breaks down and does not sit in landfills for eternity.

    1. Maria K. Fotopoulos says:

      You’re calling a sentient creatue a “renewable resource?” Oh brother! Do you need a dose of enlightenment about the fellow creatures you share Earth with!

      1. Harold Johnson says:

        That is exactly what I am saying. You don’t even understand the topic.

        1. I absolutely understand the situation, sir. Clearly, you do not. When nearly 60 percent of wildlife on the planet has been destroyed in just the last 40 years, no, this is not a “renewable resource.” There are situations that become clear as to their immorality. Killing sentient beings for their fur is one of them. I encourage people to look at the videos and photos provided by Trap Free Montana Public Lands as to the extreme bruality and inhumanity that animals suffer at the hands of humans. If activists hasten the end of the trade, that’s great. But one way or another, this animal abuse will come to an end. Your view is an anachronism to most people.

  12. Ruby Coleman says:

    monsters all of them They should have done to them what they subject these poor animals to for GREED!

  13. Wendy Jenks says:

    Not a single comment here in support of the fur trade, yet the poll is neck and neck? Sure.

    I’d also like to point out that the fur trim on a jacket is as unnecessary for our survival as the burger on your plate. Cows, pigs, and chickens are tortured and killed as cruelly as foxes and mink.

    Want to see an end to ALL animal abuse? Go vegan. It’s the only way.

  14. Adrienne V Pendleton says:

    keeping someone in a job is no excuse for animal abuse! People evolve and get new jobs! No one cared about the horse and carriage industry when people switched to cars…… YAWN

  15. Lynn Rosa says:

    By the Way — this is an absolutely ABSURD poll. Every vote is .1 percent…. it took me 100 votes to raise it from 49.99 to 50.00 that took me about 10 mins. But, in a matter of literally SECONDS…. it was back down again to 49.99 which means the opposing side must be voting extremely fast and in record numbers. A POLL SHOULD BE ONE VOTE ALLOWED PER PERSON. period. That is the fair and just way to conduct a poll….. Not set it up where the furriers can for vote themselves over and over and over…… that is not accurate representation of the entire population…. That’s a few voting for themselves over and over — 24 hours a day….Now, Since furriers want to continue to torture innocent defenseless gorgeous animals in the most agonizing lengthy death you could ever imagine – with absolutely NO remorse – this poll has only one outcome. And it is not a fair outcome. Fur is disgusting, barbaric and major metropolitan cities across the globe are outlawing it – New York better do the same.

  16. Lincoln faced the same argument over abolishing slavery! This barbaric and bloody industry has no place in the 21st century.

  17. Diane Smith says:

    Poor single dad…..So why can’t he style faux fur or other clothing and stop sponsoring the tortures of innocent animals? I only feel extreme distaste for him – he knows how these animals are skinned alive, trapped , gnaw of their legs to try and get free and incidentally, THEY have children too. Do you furriers ever recognize that THEY nurture, THEY leave their families bereft, without food and protection when they are trapped ? Their life is every bit as important as yours! Have you ever watched this skinning process where they are skinned alive and thrown in to a heap to die??? Can you feel their agonizing pain? We want no sob stories from people who lack so much compassion. This is an evil , unnecessary trade. Why should they die for your vanity?????

  18. Lynn Rosa says:

    THIS POLL IS NOT BEING ALTERED> I CALLED CBS NEWSROOM. I was told the total 2 numbers must equal 100% so the more who vote NO brings the YES votes down.

    1. Oops!, now i see – thank you Lynn !

  19. HANG ON – The ‘Yes its Cruel’ Vote is going Backwards! Something screwy going on here!!! When I looked earlier it said 49.28%…This is being altered….

  20. Lynn Rosa says:

    and the world has had enough of insensitive people deliberately causing animal cruelty and suffering. Time to realize animals hold as much- if not more- importance on our planet, as humans.

  21. This Poll is laughable in that you can vote as often as you like so I have to ask is it realistic

  22. Rebecca Louise Thompson-Nash says:

    Absolutely no justification for wearing fur, it’s just cruel and sick to torture and kill animals for fashion.

  23. I tot agree, fur should have been abolished years ago.
    One reason I don’t watch, “Housewives of New York City” most of them all wear fur

  24. hard to have sympathy for people who exploit defenceless animals – hope they all burnin hell

  25. John Lewis says:

    I’ve no doubt people reliant on the slave trade could have used the same arguments about protecting jobs and the economy but most people agreed abolition was still the right thing to do. Cruelty cannot be excused, not even if it makes a few people rich and pleases a few people with more money than sense.

  26. Jennifer Young says:

    So if these people’s job was to anally electrocute or skin the animals alive, would they still want to do it or would they find another job!? What if it was fur from puppies and kittens? Would they still be willing to sell their skin and fur? The fur industry is a cruel and unnecessary industry. It is past due time for it to end.

  27. Gus Li says:

    Executioners and slave traders had to find new jobs once too. It’s no excuse for this kind of disgusting cruelty.

  28. Debbie Kalagian says:

    If they want to wear fur that bad then they should have to catch, kill and process the animal themselves! The hell with the people who’s sole job is to kill innocent animals!

  29. Jim Ansell says:

    Ugh. Jobs at all costs… What the F*#k is up with people who support exploitation and cruelty without a thought to the innocent victims? FUR IS DEAD. BAN FUR! This industry is among the most heinous ways to make PROFIT, and a horrible example of what we are doing to mother earth and ALL her life forms. NOBODY needs FUR!

  30. Robert Thornthwaite says:

    Help them find other jobs. Fur is disgusting.

  31. I am too sympathetic to the loss of jobs. But the protesters should, rather than just plainly saying “f*ck the animals, it does not matter how cruel and unnecessary this industry is, I want to keep my job no matter what”. So many industries have died and yet people survived. What makes human race thrive is not how smart we are (we do too many stupid things including killing animals for fashion) but rather our ability to adapt. If I may suggest something, start exploring fur alternatives. There are so many companies working with things like mushroom, pineapple etc to substitute fur. Go on an pursue these alternatives. And sleep well telling your kids you are not contributing to the tremendous unnecessary suffering these industries promote. People are not evil, but they sure can be lazy.

    1. Monika Darwin says:

      Couldn’t their local synagogs get together and come up with a decent, and socially-acceptable, form of employment for them, instead ??

  32. Debby Eisemann says:

    Anyone in the fur business has blood on their hands. These beautiful animals are tortured with leghold traps, drowning sets, and anal electrocution. Fur is not a necessity. Find another line of work.

  33. Pam Doney says:

    Earning a living from animal cruelty is never an option. Fur is dead, so rather than waste your time protesting, try looking for an alternative cruelty free occupation

  34. Lynn Rosa says:

    furriers, no matter the outcome of this poll, fur is DEAD. the fashion industry is banning it left and right, everywhere we turn; and no amount of protests from you is going to stop the business from dying out completely. People around the globe are choosing compassion over greed.

  35. Dorothy Rodgers says:

    It is time to find a new profession. Happens to people each and everyday. No more barbaric and cruel fur industry!

    1. Benoit Bertrand says:

      agree 100% . I do understand people worried, wish them a transition for else and become conscious it is about killing sentient being not baking cakes.

  36. Dean Yenawine says:

    most fur from China is dog fur, often someones lost or stolen pet, what if it was your dog?

    1. Harold Johnson says:

      Ha Ha, so sympathetic for animals. Not one of you have ever seen what animals do to each other. Your wonderful wolves maim more animals than they kill, and when they kill, they often eat the animal while it is still alive. You have no idea what real life is like and many of you have no idea how hard many have to work for a living. GET A JOB! Or many get a life. You are really sickening. By the way Dean, we don’t use dog fur in the US. Just coyotes. Which, by the way kill everything they catch.

      1. It’s true, animal predation is horrible, but coyotes and other animal carnivores only kill to survive.. They don’t sell or profit by what they eat, or make saleable byproducts from the remains. – and yes, I do have a job – I work 12 hour shifts

  37. Really hoping none of those animal abusers have pets at home. BAN FUR !

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