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JERUSALEM - Jews must not wear fur skinned from live animals, Israel's chief rabbi said in a religious ruling on Tuesday.
"All Jews are obliged to prevent the horrible phenomenon of cruelty to animals and be a 'light onto nations' by refusing to use products that originate from acts which cause such suffering," Rabbi Yona Metzger said.
Animal rights campaigners in Israel and abroad say that animals are skinned alive at fur farms in China.
Metzger issued the edict in response to an appeal by an Israeli legislator who looked into the reports of animal cruelty in China at the request of a constituent.
The ruling stopped short of banning the use of fur from animals skinned after they were slaughtered.
Mati Korinio of Israel's Nature and Parks Authority, which oversees fur imports, said much of the fur sold in the Jewish state did not originate in China.