The Fur Trade in B.C. and Canada
In British Columbia, fur-bearing animals including wolves, coyotes, bobcats, lynx, beavers, muskrats, minks, river otters, foxes, squirrels, skunks, rabbits and even wolverines are killed for their fur. Their skins are sold at auction and are used by the global fashion fur trade as bits of trim, coats or other needless items.
Across Canada, animals can be caught and killed in the wild or raised and killed on fur farms.
According to the latest information from Statistics Canada, 240,000 animals are killed in BC for their for. The total number of fur-bearing animals killed (in the wild/fur farms) in Canada each year is approximately 3.3 million
Facts about BC’s fur trade:
Leg-hold traps are still legal.
Trappers are not required to post warning signs.
Traps are not required to have I.D. tags, they are untraceable.
Under provincial legislation, a trap can be set 200 metres from a dwelling.
There are approximately 12 fur farms in BC, all of which are mink farms located in the Fraser Valley.
There are no (known) fox farms in BC.
There are few laws regulating the keeping, handling or killing of cage-raised fur-bearing animals in Canada. The majority of regulations are entirely voluntary and simply reflect the standard practices used to make the most possible profit off of each animal with the least possible amount of input and care. So while the Fur Institute of Canada explains that fur farmers “operate under provincial and territorial legislation and Codes of Practice covering animal welfare”, what they fail to mention is that these laws are woefully inadequate and are largely unenforceable.
Based in Vancouver, BC, The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (also known as Fur-Bearer Defenders or APFA) has been working to end the commercial fur trade. They also provide practical hands-on assistance to municipalities across Canada seeking to minimize human-wildlife conflicts, particularly related to beavers and coyotes.
Capital Iron and Canada Goose
Vancouver Animal Defense League
Credit: Lesley Fox