Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur to the fashion industry on Wednesday, in a move hailed by animal rights group PETA as a “historic victory.”
“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.
“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.”
PETA said in a statement: “This historic victory will protect countless foxes, minks, rabbits and other animals from being violently killed for their skin.”
“For decades, PETA and our international affiliates have exposed horrific cruelty on fur farms, demonstrating that animals spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages. Fur farmers use the cheapest killing methods available, including neck-breaking, suffocation, poisoning and genital electrocution,” PETA said.
The decision was also hailed by animal rights NGO Animals Now, who described it as a “historic milestone” that would “save countless animals from the hell of the fur industry.”
The NGO also noted 86 percent of the Israeli public supported the ban.
“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 (IAFC).”
“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 the historic leap towards making fur for fashion history,” IAFC founder Jane Halevy said in a statement.
“All animals suffer horrifically at the hands of this cruel and backwards industry,” added Halevy, whose organization has been working towards this for over a decade. “Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come. Killing animals for fur should become illegal everywhere – it is high time that governments worldwide ban the sale of fur.”
Gamliel took to Twitter to respond to PETA: “Proud to be the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur.”
While Israel became the first country in the world to ban the sell of fur to the fashion industry, in 2019 the state of California passed a similar law.
The amendment, however, stipulates in certain cases fur would be permissible provided that special permits are obtained. These include “scientific research, education, for instruction and religious purposes and tradition,” the latter of which is of particular focus in Israel where ultra-Orthodox Jews import fur for sable hats called shtreimels.