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July 19, 2010

Israel Fur Trade Ban Wins Support

Humane Society International

  • HSI's Rebecca Aldworth and Mark Glover give evidence to a hearing in Israel. HSI

  • Millions of animals worldwide are raised in tiny cages and killed for their fur.

Update, September 1, 2010: The vote on this legislation, originally scheduled for September 2, has been postponed. More information to follow.

Humane Society International is applauding moves by politicians in Israel who have put forward proposals to ban the fur trade throughout the country.

Earlier this year, Rebecca Aldworth (director of HSI Canada) and Mark Glover (director of HSI UK) visited Israel with the UK group Respect for Animals to discuss the proposed bill with politicians and local campaigners, including Let The Animals Live group. The pair also presented evidence gathered by HSI on the international fur trade, including specifically on the seal fur trade, to the country’s legislature, the Knesset.

The bill, introduced by Knesset Member Ronit Tirosh, seeks to outlaw the production, processing, import, export and sale of fur from all animal species not already part of the meat industry. There is a small exemption for the use of fur in hats for certain religious purposes.

Already unanimously endorsed by the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the bill still has to pass crucial votes in Committee and the Knesset.

A ban on all fur throughout the country would be a world first—a major stand against the animal cruelty inherent in the worldwide fur trade—and it would set an example that other countries would look to and follow.

It has attracted widespread support in Israel and from the public, politicians and celebrities from around the world.

Current fur legislation

Austria, Croatia and the United Kingdom have already banned fur factory farming; in each case, the cruelty inflicted on animals bred and held in tiny wire cages for their short and miserable lives was found to offend public morality. In other countries, including Denmark and the Netherlands, legislation is in place to phase out the farming of certain animals for their fur. In addition, the European Union and the United States have banned trade in seal fur products and cat and dog fur.

The steel-jawed leghold trap—one of the main methods used to catch wild animals for their fur—has been banned in more than 60 countries, including Israel.

Public support

Two animal welfare groups in Israel, the International Anti-Fur Coalition and Let The Animals Live, commissioned professional polling to ask the public about their attitudes toward fur. The results were revealing:

An outstanding 86 percent were against the killing of animals for the sole purpose of obtaining fur when asked the question: "Do you find it moral to kill animals if they are killed only for their fur?"

And 79 percent confirmed their support for the ban when asked the question: "Would you support a bill to ban the trade of fur in Israel?”