Israel has banned the sale of fur in the fashion industry this week, becoming the first country in the world to do so.
Animal rights group PETA on Wednesday praised Israel after Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel signed the new amendment.
“This historic victory will protect countless foxes, minks, rabbits and other animals from being violently killed for their skin,” the statement said.
“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 Israeli media claim that the new law appears to be largely symbolic.
The authority to issue permits for the import and export of wild animal fur lies with the director of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA). The amendment to 1976 regulations allow the INPA to continue issuing permits if the pelts are to be used for “religion, religious tradition, scientific research, education or teaching.”
Legislation still allows import of sables and foxes for shtreimels - traditional hats made of the tails of foxes and sables used my ultra religious Jews.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who are the only users of fur in Israel with its hot climate, are still allowed to buy and use on Shabbat and holidays, although importers will now need to apply for special permits.
Claire Bass, director of Humane Society International/UK, said: “This is a truly historic day for animal protection, with Israel becoming the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur fashion,” Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said.“Even with the exemption for traditional dress, without which this ban was unlikely to have succeeded, Israel’s fur ban will save the lives of millions of animals suffering on fur farms or languishing in cruel traps around the world, and it sends a clear message that fur is unethical, unnecessary and outdated.”