Updated January 24, 2022
Most people already know that fur farming is unnecessary, cruel to animals, and contaminates the environment. But a new, looming health threat posed by mink farms is making it even more urgent for Canada to outlaw this outdated industry and close down fur farms for good.
British Columbia recently announced a permanent ban on mink farms after three COVID-19 outbreaks took place in these facilities. Minks and workers were infected, and heartbreakingly, one farmer even killed 1,000 minks to try to eliminate one of the outbreaks.
COVID-19 outbreaks have hit mink farms all around the world. The virus began ravaging fur farms in Europe in summer 2020, resulting in the killing and mass burial of millions of innocent minks.
Public health and infectious disease experts have warned that fur farm COVID-19 outbreaks could lead to mutations of the virus. This could affect vaccination efforts, and undermine global efforts to tackle the pandemic.
But even without the risk associated with COVID-19 transmission, fur farming is still bad news. Fur farms are typically dark, windowless sheds housing thousands of minks in tiny wire cages, forcing these animals to live in their own filth, experiencing psychological distress from the extreme boredom. Crowded, filthy conditions like those on mink farms create the perfect breeding grounds for new zoonotic diseases to emerge, and could cause the next global pandemic.
The fur industry is already on a downward spiral. High-fashion brands like Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Gucci and Versace have all gone fur-free in recent years. Pelts are selling for record low prices. Public support for fur farming has plummeted, with 81% of Canadians against the killing of animals for their fur in a recent public opinion poll.
In Canada, the few remaining fur farms are struggling, and largely kept afloat only due to massive government handouts. A recent analysis from CBC News shows that fur farms has have been given at least $100 million in public subsidies since 2014 by federal and provincial governments.
It’s time for Canada to stop propping up this dying and dangerous industry, and help transition fur farmers to a new business model that is kind to animals, the environment, and poses no threat to public health.
Please take action now! Ask your political representatives to close all fur farms for good—before it’s too late.
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