Israel on Wednesday banned the trade in animal fur for fashion by ministerial decree, becoming the first country to pass such strict legislation, the environment ministry said. “The trade in animal fur, import and export, will be banned except for the needs of research, education and certain religious traditions,” said the ministry in a statement, specifying that the ban will come into force in six months . The use of fur, ritually used for the “Schtreimel”, this real fur hat worn by some ultra-Orthodox Jews, therefore remains authorized.
“The fur trade industry causes unimaginable suffering to animals and this decree will transform the Israeli fashion market making it better at meeting environmental standards,” Gila Gamliel, Minister of the environment.
The ministry also published a letter sent by Jane Halevy-Moreno, director of the International Anti-Fur Coalition (IAFC), welcoming this decree described as “historic gesture”. “Israel is the first country in the world to close its doors to this cruel industry,” writes Halevy-Moreno. Israel had already banned in 1976 the breeding of animals for their fur. Several countries around the world have introduced partial bans on the fur trade, especially for particularly endangered species, such as seals.
The total ban on the fur trade is only in effect in certain cities, such as Sao Paulo in Brazil or in the state of California. India has already passed similar regulations nationwide, but only for mink, fox and chinchilla skins.