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Israel becomes first nation to ban fur sale in fashion industry4 min read

June 27, 2021 3 min read

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Israel becomes first nation to ban fur sale in fashion industry4 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Credit: Giphy

In a big step forward in animal rights, the Israeli government has banned the sale of fur in the fashion industry. By doing this, the country is the first to put an end to the clothing material that leads to several animal deaths each year.

Gila Gamliel, the former minister of environmental protection, called the fur trade for the fashion industry “immoral and unnecessary” when she signed the ban. “Together, we will make the Israeli fashion market more environmentally-friendly and do kindness to animals!” Gamliel tweeted.

Israel’s ban on the sale of fur will take come into effect in the next six months.

The exemptions

A Jewish man wearing a shtreimel. Credit: Wikipedia

While the country announced this ban, there are some cases in which it will be permitted. At present, anyone in Israel wishing to buy or sell fur must apply for a permit, but under the new rules this will only be allowed in cases of “scientific research, education or for instruction and for religious purposes or tradition”.

The exemption will most likely to apply to Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, which is quite large. As part of their customs, many of the men wear round fur hats called shtreimels, which is believed to have originated in Eastern Europe. A shtreimel is typically made of the fur from the tails of the Canadian or Russian sable, the stone marten, the baum marten or the American gray fox, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

According to the Humane Society International, about 100 million animals are bred and killed each year to supply fur to the fashion sector.


Although some shtreimels are now made with fake fur, animal rights activists say this exemption makes the fur ban less powerful than it could have been.

Regardless, animal rights activists say this a “historic victory” for the movement and applauded Israel’s decision. It was the latest development in an ongoing effort by animal rights activists to put an end to a practice they say causes cruelty to animals.

Do you know what animal this is?

Credit: Giphy
Credit: Getty

Meet the Mink!

Minks are carnivorous mammals in the weasel family, native to North America. Their silky fur has kept people warm since at least the 11th century and is still popular today. The production of mink fur, over the years, has shifted from trapping them in the wild to farming them in captivity. Through the use of selective breeding, fur farmers have produced minks in shades of black, auburn, cream, and silver.

Where else has fur been banned?

The United Kingdom banned fur farming in the early 2000s, and other European countries including the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic have also taken steps to end the practice.

In 2019, California became the first US state to enact a law banning the sale of fur products, which takes effect in 2023. A number of fashion retailers such as Nordstrom, as well as high-profile brands including Prada and Versace, have also said they would stop selling fur in response to reports of cruelty in the fur trade.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

In 2017, the Indian government banned the import of reptile skin, animal hides, and fur of animals like minks and foxes. This, the government had said, was India’s effort to slowly adopt a more “cruelty free” approach.

Sources: BBC, National Geographic, NPR

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