Israel banned the sale of fur to the fashion industry on Wednesday, becoming the first country in the world to do so, The Jerusalem Post reported.
“The fur industry causes the deaths of hundreds of millions of animals worldwide, and inflicts indescribable cruelty and suffering,” Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said in a statement after signing the measure.
“Using the skin and fur of wildlife for the fashion industry is immoral and is certainly unnecessary. Animal fur coats cannot cover the brutal murder industry that makes them.
Signing these regulations will make the Israeli fashion market more environmentally friendly and far kinder to animals,” she said.
The U.S. state of California implemented a similar ban in 2019, but despite numerous demands to do so, no other state or country followed suit.
The animal rights NGO Animals Now welcomed Wednesday’s news: “We have been fighting for years to ban the sale of furs to the fashion industry, and from the start, 86% of the Israeli public supported this.
“We thank Minister Gamliel and Tal Gilboa, the prime minister’s adviser on animal rights, and our partners in the struggle over years, Let The Animals Live and the International Anti-Fur Coalition.”
The move to ban fur trade makes Israel the first country in the world to do so, though in the United States, the state of California had banned the sale of fur to the fashion industry in 2019.
When the ban was being drafted in October 2020, exceptions were under consideration for cases of “scientific research, education, for instruction and religious purposes and tradition.”
The latter phrase suggests that shtreimels, which are made of animal fur, could be exempted from the ban; but nothing has been said about it explicitly.
Exemption permits are to be issued by the Nature and Parks Authority.