August the 14, 2012
A bill brought before the Knesset at the end of July may, if passed, make Israel the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur, reports the Jerusalem Post.
The bill, drafted by MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima) in conjunction with the Israel-based International Anti-Fur Coalition, received the support of eight Knesset members from across the political spectrum – Tirosh, Eitan Cabel (Labor), Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), Yoel Hasson (Kadima), Dov Henin (Hadash), Miri Regev (Likud), Nino Abesadze (Kadima) and Masud Ganaim (United Arab List).
An independent opinion poll conducted for the International Anti-Fur Coalition and Israeli animal rights group Let Animals Live found 86 percent of Israelis believe killing animals for their fur is morally wrong and 79 percent would support a nationwide ban.
However, previous efforts to ban fur sales in Israel received opposition from the fur industry, which doesn’t want anything cutting into its profits, or to see anyone pave the way towards an end to the fur trade, but also by the Orthodox Jewish community, whose cultural headdress, called a shtreimel, is made of fur.
This time around, the bill will allow for the sale of fur used in science or to express cultural identity.
The text of the bill explains that there is no longer any necessity for fur, as synthetic fabrics heat much more efficiently, and fur is now simply a fashion item and status symbol. A ban on the sale of fur within Israel would provide animals protection according to the Animal Welfare Law, and would be in accordance with the values of human compassion and Judaism, the bill text says.
“Fighting for people’s consciousness is a daily undertaking, and this legislation may yet save millions of animals. It’s time to do this at last and finally end the fur trade in Israel. Such legislation should gain immense respect for Israel and its citizens. Another important point to note is that unlike the first bill, proposed by MK Ronit Tirosh, the new bill doesn’t suggest a ban on fur imports, hence the bill is an entirely internal matter and any intervention by foreign furriers will be neither ethical nor justified,” said Jane Halevy, chairperson of the International Anti-Fur Coalition.