Israel bans fur imports, except for Chasidic hats

By Anshel Pfeffer, February 11, 2010

The Israeli government is going to forbid manufacture, import and export of all kinds of furs, with one exception: Chasidic shtreimels, or fur hats.

A new law forbidding all manufacture and trade in furs in Israel is one of the strictest of its kind in the world and was approved on Sunday. It is an extension of a previous law prohibiting the use of cat and dog skins.

Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon explained that the inspectors had trouble distinguishing between the different kinds of furs and that Israel should not be supporting “a cruel industry”.

There is no fur industry or many shops dealing in fur in Israel, so no lobby has tried to oppose the law. In order to prevent any possible objections, the law will exempt fur being used for “religious purposes”, allowing the only community in Israel that makes extensive use of fur to continue doing so.

This clause was specifically put in to allow Chasidim to continue buying shtreimels. Shtreimels are made mainly in Israel, the US and Canada, chiefly from sable pelts and fox furs.

Last updated: 4:47pm, February 11 2010