On Sunday, The Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs approved the expansion of a bill banning fur trade in Israel.

The committee unanimously approved an amendment to Knesset Member Ronit Tirosh’s bill, which called for the prohibition of the trade of the fur of cats and dogs. Currently the bill calls for a ban on the trade of fur from all animals. Although this does not apply to fur that is used to make clothing items regularly worn by the ultra-Orthdodox, such as shtreimels – while on the other hand there is no halachic requirement to wear such hats.

A comprehensive ban on all fur is also expected to ease the work of the Customs Authority in preventing the importing and distribution of fur products, because its agents will not have to distinguish the animal of origin of each particular item.

Now that the amendment has gone unanimously approved by the legislative committee, the Education, Culture and Sports Ministry committee is scheduled to hold a vote on the new amendment later in the month. After the committee’s approval, the bill will be put to a second and then third reading before finally being passed into law.

The sale of fur in Israel is relatively limited because of the short winters and the steep prices of imported clothing items. Boutiques that do sell fur get by with importing a very small amount of items.

One boutique owner who has imported fur coats to Israel for years, expressed her dissatisfaction with the legislation:

“I don’t understand who they are trying to target with this bill…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?”

A store owner in Bnei Brak said of his shtreimels:

“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.”