For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2009
Richard H. Schwartz, President of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)  Phone: (718) 761-5876  Cell: 917-576-0344

Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) issued the following statement today:

We strongly endorse the efforts of the International Anti-Fur Coalition (their statement is below) to support the new Knesset bill (posted at the end of this message) to prohibit the fur industry in Israel.

“Passage of this bill would be a Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of God's Name),” stated JVNA president Richard Schwartz, “in showing the applicability of Judaism's strong messages on compassion for animals, and would be a valuable example to other countries to also end abuses of animals.”

Jewish teachings that can be used to argue that Jews should not wear fur can be found at the end of the Knesset bill below and in the JVNA article “Is Fur a Jewish Issue?” in the section on animals at

JVNA is a group that argues that the production and consumption of animal products violate basic Jewish mandates to preserve human health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources, help hungry people and pursue peace.

JVNA urges rabbis and other Jewish leaders to increase awareness that a major shift toward plant-based diets is essential to avoid the unparalleled disaster that the world is rapidly approaching and to help move our precious, but imperiled, planet to a sustainable path.

JVNA would very much welcome respectful dialogues/debates with rabbis and other Jewish leaders on “Should Jews be Vegetarians?” Such discussions would also constitute a kiddush Hashem because it would show the applicability of eternal Jewish teachings to dietary issues.

Further information about these issues can be found at the JVNA web site We will provide complimentary copies of its new documentary A SACRED DUTY: APPLYING JEWISH VALUES TO HELP HEAL THE WORLD to rabbis and other Jewish leaders who will contact us (  and indicate how they might use them to involve their congregations on the issues. The entire movie can be seen and further information about it can be found at




Israel - Israel creates a precedent by submitting the world's first nationwide bill “Prohibiting the Industry of Fur”. Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz proposed on March, 18th 2009 a bill to prohibit the fur industry in its entirety, including all importation, production and all sales in Israel; illuminating that his intention is "not to lend a hand to this cruelty towards animals.”

In light of this bill, Israel takes a giant leap forward; from having no existing law concerning fur; to becoming the first nation on the planet to completely protect all fur bearing animals from the suffering and death inflicted upon millions of animals at the hands of the fur industry the world over.     

The" International Anti-Fur Coalition"thanks MK Nitzan Horowitz for his proposal and  calls on all MKs to support this bill:said Jane Halevy, Director of the 'International Anti-Fur Coalition'. "We hope that Israel will inspire other countries and they too will propose comparable bills throughout the world".

Last month, a report on Israel's channel 10, led by SPCA Israel and International Anti-Fur Coalition, had revealed that items from the top fashion chain stores to cheap toys in bazaars, that what was being sold as fake fur was indeed real fur. Lab tests had shown that several articles taken from leading Israeli brands and sold as fake fur were made of dog and rabbit fur!

Each year millions of animals are brutally killed for their fur throughout the world. Animals live in tiny cages made only of wire, before being gassed, electrocuted or even skinned alive! Footage shows that some of them fight against death for up to 10 minutes in total anguish after being skinned alive!
About the International Anti-Fur Coalition
The International Anti-Fur Coalition is a collective of more than 50 organizations from around the world that fight against the fur industry. This coalition, created in 2006, organizes on a regular basis international days of action against the fur industry.

For more information, please visit:


Jane Halevy
International Anti-Fur Coalition


The 18th Knesset

A private bill by Member of Knesset:     Nitzan Horovitz

Fur Industry Prohibition, 5769-2009
Definitions     1.     In this law-
          "Fur" - the body cover of a mammal, which was skinned from it for the purpose of producing fur products
"Fur Products" - any item which is made, predominantly or partly, of fur, for the purpose of being worn or for any other purpose
"Artificial Fur" - a product similar to fur in its properties or looks, yet which isn't made of fur, but of exclusively synthetic materials
          "Research" - ecological, zoological or biological research only, and which is conducted by a research institution, and not for profit
          "Research Institution" - a scientific, research-based, medical, educational or higher-education institution where ecological, zoological or biological research is being conducted
          "The Commissioner" - as defined in the Animal Welfare Law (Protection of Animals) 5754-1994
          "The Minister" - The Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor
Aims     2.     The purpose of this law is to prohibit the production of, and industry in, fur and fur products in Israel
on fur manufacturing and trade     3.     (a)
     No one in Israel is permitted to rear animals with the purpose of producing fur products
(b)     No one in Israel is permitted to produce fur products
(c)     No one in Israel is permitted to trade in fur products
(d)     Should anyone trade in artificial furs - he must be in possession of a lab certificate proving it is not made of real fur
(e)     Such certificates as mentioned in clause 3(d) will be kept for any artificial fur product line in the trader's possession
Prohibition on imports     4.     No one is permitted to import fur or fur products from foreign countries
Scientific research exception     5.     (a)
     The Commissioner may grant permits to trade in fur for research purposes
     Any such permit will be given to a research institution, on an individual basis for a specific research project, and said permit will be valid for one year only from the day it was granted. The Commissioner will grant the individual permit only after he is convinced that the requestor keeps in his possession the minimal number of furs required for said research. Any renewals of the permit the following year will be subject these same conditions.
     Once the research was concluded, or once the permit allowing its continuation was revoked, the fur items will be taken for safe keeping in the State of Israel's national natural history collections
Punishment     6.     (a)
     Any person found in breach of the provisions of this law is liable to one-year imprisonment or to the fine prescribed in section 61(a)(2) of the Penal Law
     Any business trading in fur or fur products will be closed and its merchandise confiscated
     Any and all furs and fur products confiscated according to clause 6(b) above will be destroyed

The fur industry is a cruel one, which inflicts terrible and unnecessary suffering on many mammals in order to provide luxuries aimed at only a very small section of the population.
It is estimated that 75 million animals are skinned alive annually for this industry.

On fur farms around the world many animals are reared in terrible conditions, including dogs, cats, minks, foxes, rabbits, chinchillas and others. Once they reach the right size, these animals are killed for their fur. In order not to hurt the raw material, in many cases the animal is electrocuted, gassed, or even skinned alive.

Other furs come from wild animals hunted specifically for that purpose. One good example is the seal pups, half a million of which are hunted each spring (the birthing season) in countries such as Canada. Hunters catch the pups and hit them with blunt objects to render them unconscious, but over 40% are alive and conscious and in terror and agony while being skinned. On top of the cruelty involved in obtaining fur, near-extinct wild animals, as well as whole ecological systems, also suffer serious and at times irreversible damage.

Recently it was revealed that fur trimmed items sold at Israeli fashion chains as synthetic fur, actually came from dogs and rabbits reared in China and sold as synthetic fur, misleading the consumers. As much as this saddens and shocks us, it appears that obtaining cat and dog fur is less expensive than producing synthetic fur. Knowledgeable sources report that what's referred to as "mislabeling" is a common practice, where the manufacturer deliberately attaches a misleading label in order to present cat and dog fur as synthetic fur or as wild animal fur. This is done in order to prevent consumers from being shocked by wearing fur whose origins are household pets.

27 EU countries, as well as the USA and Australia, have laws prohibiting the import and export of cat and dog fur. Five countries prohibit the importing and selling of seal fur. Such a law is due to come up for discussion in the EU in April 2009.

Once Israel enacts this bill, she joins the increasing number of enlightened nations of the world in her ethics and moral position towards animals.




Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
Author of "Judaism and Vegetarianism," "Judaism and Global Survival," and "Mathematics and Global Survival," and over 130 articles at

President of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)

and Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV)

Associate Producer of A SACRED DUTY (
Director of Veg Climate Alliance (