Israel just announced plans to impose a total ban on the buying and selling of furs, which if passed into law would make it the first country to do so. The country has previously passed legislation that requires anyone wishing to buy or sell fur products to apply for a permit.

Israel May Become First Country to Ban Fur Buying and Selling

If this new fur ban passes, it would outlaw all fur trade except in the instance of “scientific research, education or for instruction and for religious purposes or tradition” which would still allow the selling of traditional fur hats (called shtreimel) worn by married Jewish men who are members of Hasidic Judaism on the sabbath, Jewish holidays or other occasions.

Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel, proposed the new regulations. During her time as minister, Gamliel has advanced Israel’s urban agriculture program and advocated for Israel to invest in large-scale sustainable projects to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Gamliel explained her introduction of the ban, saying, "The fur industry causes the killing of hundreds of millions of animals around the world, and involves indescribable cruelty and suffering. Utilizing the skin and fur of wildlife for the fashion industry is immoral."

The Future is Faux

The bill cites the importance of the development of synthetic fur as an alternative to animal furs, “Fur is mainly used in the fashion industry. In a warm climate like Israel’s, fur is mainly purchased not out of need but as a status symbol. In the 21st century, there are synthetic fabrics that are warmer than fur.”

The development of synthetic alternatives to fur has been a major factor in fashion companies moving away from animal fur products. Department store giant Nordstrom recently announced that by 2021 the company's stores would no longer sell fur products, and designers like Stella McCartney and Prada are popularizing cruelty-free, sustainably designed fashions.

Although Israel is the first country to propose an outright ban of furs, The NetherlandsPoland, and France have recently moved forward with legislation to close factory fur farms. Stateside, California cities have passed bans on the sales of fur. PETA applauds these bans “for recognizing that the trade-in coats, pom-poms, and other frivolous fashion items made from wild animals' fur offend the values held by all decent citizens.”

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