The Ministerial Committee on Law and Constitution voted Sunday to ban the import and export of furs of all kind, save those designated for religious or traditional use.

Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon initiated the bill to expand upon an existing law that prohibits local production, manufacturing, importing, exporting and selling of furs from cats and dogs.

Simhon proposed expanding the ban to include furs from all animals, excluding the hide of cows, which is a bi-product of the meat industry.

The bill would also exclude the trade of fur intended for religious purposes ? particularly those used by the ultra-Orthodox community to manufacture shtreimels, a traditional fur hat.

"Wild animals suffer as a result of the fur industry, which is a cruel industry made for the production of luxurious artifacts," Simhon said. "The animals' skin is stripped from them while they are still alive. There is no reason why Israel should continue to strengthen this industry. We should set an example to the rest of the world on this matter."

Simhon added that should the ban include fur imports, it would make supervision over tax evaders easier for airport inspectors, as "they will not have to inquire to which animal each fur belongs."