The Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs approved on Sunday the expansion of a bill to ban fur trade in Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
The committee unanimously approved an amendment to Knesset Member Ronit Tirosh’s bill, which called for prohibiting the trade of cat and dog fur. The current bill calls for a ban on the trade of fur from all animals. The bill does not apply to fur that is used to make clothing items regularly worn by ultra-Orthodox Jews, such as fur hats (shtreimels). The halacha does not obligate Jews to wear fur hats.
A comprehensive ban on all fur is also expected ease the work of the Customs Authority in preventing the importing and distribution of fur products, as its agents will not have to distinguish the animal of origin of each particular item.
Now that the legislative committee unanimously approved the amendment, the Education, Culture and Sports Ministry committee is scheduled to hold a vote on the amendment later in the month. Following the committee's approval, the bill will be put to a second and then third reading before finally being past into law.
The sale of fur in Israeli is relatively limited due to the short winters and the steep prices of imported clothing items made of fur. Boutiques that do sell fur make do with importing a very small amount of items.
"I don't understand who they are trying to target with this bill," said a boutique owner who had imported fur coats to Israel in the past. "Over the past few years importers have reduced the number of fur coats they order in the wintertime due to the warm climate, so now they want to pass a law that would ban the importing of fur items? Who exactly does this law relate to? Four boutiques at Kikar Hamedina (State's Square in central Tel Aviv)?" She said.
As for the sale of shtreimels in Israel, a store owner in Bnei Brak said that "contrary to popular belief, the hats are made from tails of animals that have already been killed for the fashion industry. So they should first stop making fur coats for all the millionaires," he said.
Michal Levy contributed to the report