Facts About Fur Farming
- In North America, about 95% of the people eat and wear products from animals. Worldwide, we use animals in many ways: for food, clothing, companionship, medical and scientific research, and transport
- More than 65,000 Canadians work in the different sectors of the fur trade. The trade contributes $800 million to the Canadian economy, including more than $450 million in exports.
- Canadian, American and European fur farmers abide by national codes of practice and regulations to ensure that their animals are well cared for.
- Both Wild Fur and Ranched Fur from North America qualify for Origin Assured labels guaranteeing consumers the highest standard of care.
- When humans raise animals, they have a responsibility to provide for their welfare .
- While providing animals with humane care is an ethical obligation for all livestock farmers, it also makes good business sense since the healthiest animals produce the finest furs.
Codes of Practice
- Optimal standards for the nutrition, housing, husbandry and euthanasia of farmed-raised mink and fox are set out in Recommended Codes of Practice developed by Agriculture Canada, in consultation with producers and animal-welfare agencies. There is a strong incentive to respect these codes because there is no other way to produce high quality fur; farmers who do not care for their animals will not remain in business very long.
- Farmed mink are fed with leftovers from abattoirs, fish plants and other food-processing — they ”recycle” wastes that would otherwise go to landfills. In addition to fur, farmed mink provide fine oils for skin care and waterproofing leather, organic fertilizers and other products. Everything is used.
- Fur is very much a renewable resource. Strong regulations are in place for fur-bearer species and their habitat has flourished. Trappers and governments have carefully nurtured these stocks.
- An example of this diligence is the fact there are more beavers in Canada now than when the European explorers first arrived. Canadian Trappers and their government have developed the world’s most humane trapping systems and standards and are signatories to the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS), along with the United States, the European Union and Russia.
- In Canada, trappers serve a dual role: they contribute to the economy through their livelihood and assist in wildlife management through government-imposed quotas.
- Maximum quotas protect the animals from being over-harvested while minimum quotas assist with wild life population control.
- Trappers also act as eyes and ears of the land: they are among the first to sound an alarm if the environmental balance is upset, such as by pollution or habitat destruction.
Trapping in the U.S.A.
- In the U.S., trapping is an activity practiced on few and specific furbearing species that are abundant or overly abundant in their habitats. Only licensed trappers are allowed to participate during a strict trapping season that lasts a few months yearly and rarely during the spring or summer seasons when animals are busy caring for their young.
- Regulated trapping is an important way for biologists to collect data about wildlife including information about wildlife diseases like rabies that can also affect people.
The sustainable use of renewable resources
- Worldwide, the fur industry is an excellent example of an industry based on sustainable use of renewable natural resources. Furs used by the trade are abundant.
- Absolutely no endangered species are used.
- In the Canadian fur trade, government wildlife officials and biologists ensure responsible use by establishing controlled seasons for hunting and trapping, as well as harvest quotas, licensing, and training courses for trappers. Strict government regulations ensure that these quotas and seasons are respected.
- In many regions, raccoons, coyotes and foxes are more abundant than they have ever been.
- Jointly funded by the Canadian Government and the International Fur Federation, this important program ensures that animal welfare priorities are addressed in a practical way when animals are taken for food, fur or wildlife management programs.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)
- The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), with 145 member countries, work to monitor and control trade and threatened or endangered species.
- They have demonstrated that we can conserve the world’s natural resources and ensure sustainable use through international cooperation.