Today, Israel has become the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur for fashion. Effective six months from now, the ban only allows exemptions for the use of fur in “scientific research, education, or instruction, and for religious purposes or tradition.” These exemptions would permit the sale of shtreimels (fur hats traditionally worn on Shabbat and holidays by Orthodox men), for example. 

Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel, passed the ban into law. “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 the brutal murder industry that makes them. Signing these regulations will make the Israeli fashion market more environmentally friendly and far kinder to animals.”

A number of local activists and animal welfare organizations, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the International Anti-Fur Coalition (IAFC) have been lobbying the government for such a ban for years. “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. “All animals suffer horrifically at the hands of this cruel and backwards industry. 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.”

US states ban fur

In the United States, California became the first US state to ban fur sales in 2019 following similar bans in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, and West Hollywood. In 2020, legislators in Hawaii and Rhode Island introduced fur sales ban proposals, as have cities in Minnesota and Massachusetts.