Knesset meeting on fur 370.
(photo credit: Ronen Machleb)
A Knesset bill introduced late last week would forbid most sales of fur in
Israel. Animal rights activists praised the legislation.
measure Tirosh proposed in 2011, which received heavy opposition particularly
from fur hat proprietors in the haredi community, the current measure would
allow the sale of fur needed for science or to follow traditional customs or
express cultural identity. No fur is produced in Israel.
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).
people’s consciousness is a daily undertaking, and this legislation may yet save
millions of animals,” Jane Halevy, executive director and founder of the
International Anti-Fur Coalition, said. “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.”
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.
The fur industry uses
millions of animals every year – animals that spend their lives in tiny mesh
cages and quickly face death, according to the Anti-Fur
“Israel may well become the first country to ban fur sales
nationwide,” the coalition said, noting that many cities around the world
already ban sales of fur. Such cities include Dublin and Fingal in Ireland and
West Hollywood in California.
“The hope is that Israel shall be the first
to join, as an entire nation, the growing number of compassionate furfree
cities,” the coalition said.
Because the bill would not interfere with
international sales to Israel, Halevy told The Jerusalem Post
that she felt the
opposition to it would be much less than to previous proposals, and she felt it
had a good chance of passing in the Knesset.
Also, because a few cities
throughout the world have now adopted anti-fur rules, Israel doing so would not
be quite so unprecedented, she added.
“Israel has this splendid
opportunity to lead [the movement] as a country,” Halevy said.
organization Anonymous for Animal Rights told the Post that its members hope
lawmakers “will be responsive to public sentiment” and approve the
“The Israeli public strongly opposes animal abuse, and fur is
perceived clearly – a corpse of a helpless creature who was killed violently,”
the group said. “There is no justification for crushing bones in foot
traps or skinning conscious animals – accepted and documented methods of the fur
industry – certainly not for articles of clothing that are never needed in the