Israel announced a ban Wednesday on the sale of fur in the fashion trade, winning applause from the International Anti-Fur Coalition as the "first entire nation" to impose such a ban.
Environmental Protection Ministry said commerce in animal fur, imports and exports, will be banned except for the needs of research, study or certain religious traditions.
Fur is used for hats called "shtreimels" worn by some ultra-Orthodox Jews.
"On this historic day, Israel has set an ethical precedent and hopefully other nations shall join them and ban the sale of barbaric and cruel blood fashion fur," the Anti-Fur coalition wrote on its Facebook page.
"Israel became the first entire nation to be FUR FREE," it said, against a backdrop of bans in some international cities and in the U.S. state of California.
The ministerial decree is to take effect in six months.
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) called for other countries to follow suit on health grounds.
"Cramming sick and stressed animals together in unsanitary conditions on fur farms creates the perfect breeding ground for deadly diseases," it said.
"The novel coronavirus has been found on mink fur farms in a dozen countries."