Israel has become the first country to issue an almost complete ban on fur sales in the world, effective from the beginning of 2022.
The ban will completely ban the sale of fur for any fashion purposes, with the exceptions of religious purposes such as shtreimels (fur hats traditionally worn on Shabbat and holidays by Orthodox men) and scientific research.
Humane Society International & UK, which leads the #FurFreeBritain campaign for a UK fur sales ban, hopes Israel’s ban will inspire the British government to follow its lead and also ban fur sales, a move supported by 72% of Brits in recent YouGov and Yonder opinion polls.
The UK was the first country in the world to ban the fur farming in 2003, but the import and sale of fur is still allowed. The UK government has recently launched a Call for Evidence to consider the case for a ban.
Claire Bass, Executive Director of Humane Society International & UK, said: “This is a truly historic day for animal protection, with Israel becoming the first country in the world to ban the sale of fur fashion. Even with the exemption for traditional dress, without which this ban was unlikely to have succeeded, Israel’s fur ban will save the lives of millions of animals suffering on fur farms or languishing in cruel traps around the world, and it sends a clear message that fur is unethical, unnecessary and outdated.
“We now call on the British government to follow Israel’s compassionate lead and implement a UK fur import and sales ban once DEFRA’s Call for Evidence is completed. For as long as the UK remains open for business to sell fur that we deemed too cruel to farm here two decades ago, we are complicit in this cruelty.”
Jane Halevy, Founder of the International Anti-Fur Coalition (IAFC) which has been working towards the ban for over a decade, added: “The IAFC has promoted a bill to ban the sale of fur in Israel since 2009, and we applaud the Israeli government for finally taking the historic leap towards making fur for fashion history. All animals suffer horrifically at the hands of this cruel and backwards industry. Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come. Killing animals for fur should become illegal everywhere – it is high time that governments worldwide ban the sale of fur.”
In February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson received a letter signed by 50 of Britain’s biggest stars, including Dame Judi Dench, Dr Brian May, Leona Lewis, Alesha Dixon and Ricky Gervais, all backing a ban.
In April, a petition of more than one million signatures was handed in to No.10 Downing Street by the #FurFreeBritain coalition which includes Humane Society International, PETA UK, RSPCA, and Animal Aid.