Israel Becomes First Country To Ban Fur Sales For Fashion

Israel has become the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur for fashion, effective six months from now, with a few exceptions.

In a move hailed as historic by international animal welfare advocacy organizations, Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel signed the amendment into law on June 9.

“The fur industry causes the deaths of hundreds of millions of animals worldwide, and inflicts indescribable cruelty and suffering,” Gamliel said. “Using the skin and fur of wildlife for the fashion industry is immoral and is certainly unnecessary. Animal fur coats cannot cover up the brutal killing industry that makes them.”

She said the new regulations “will make the Israeli fashion market more environmentally friendly and far kinder to animals.”

Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel signs an amendment banning fur sales to the fashion industry. (Courtesy of Environmental Protection Ministry)
Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel signs an amendment banning fur sales to the fashion industry. (Courtesy of Environmental Protection Ministry)

The latter exemption will allow continued sales of the fur hats that many ultra-Orthodox men wear on Shabbat and holidays, the same as in California where fur sales were banned in 2019.

Jane Halevy, founder of the International Anti-Fur Coalition (IAFC), said her organization has been working toward the ban for over a decade in partnership with Israeli organization Animals Now and Let the Animals Live.

“The IAFC has promoted a bill to ban the sale of fur in Israel since 2009, and we applaud the Israeli government for finally taking this historic leap,” Halevy said. “All animals suffer horrifically at the hands of this cruel and backwards industry. Killing animals for fur should become illegal everywhere.”

The U.K. was the first country to ban fur farming in 2003 and has since been followed by numerous European nations, but the import and sale of fur is still allowed there.

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