UPDATE: The public comment period and the federal petition to end fur farming of all species across Canada are both closed. Thank you to everyone who spoke up for mink.
Original story: January 26, 2021
The BC SPCA is urging its supporters to speak out against an attempt by the mink industry to roll back welfare standards on Canadian mink farms.
Geoff Urton, spokesperson for the BC SPCA, says the BC SPCA is opposed to the raising of mink for pelts sold as a luxury fashion item. “The mink industry’s attempt to loosen their Codes of Practice, which set out minimum care standards for these animals, is regressive and out of touch with the public.”
Fur farm proponents have repeatedly claimed that mink farmers follow Codes of Practice developed through the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). However, the same day that the first COVID-19 outbreak on a B.C. mink farm was reported in December 2020, proposed changes to the Code of Practice for Mink were released that would roll back welfare improvements. The amendments, driven by the mink industry, would eliminate the 2023 deadline for larger cages, and allow the use of killing methods that cause mink distress before they die.
“For the BC SPCA there are two issues,” says Urton. “The first is the ongoing suffering caused by keeping wild animals in tiny wire cages. The second is the continued risk to people and animals in our communities amid a pandemic.” Although mink farms in B.C. were said to be following biosecurity standards after government inspections in fall 2020, there were still outbreaks of the COVID-19 virus on two farms, affecting mink death of over 11,000 mink and farm staff.
“At a time when we know that distance helps reduce disease transmission, fur farms in Canada want to keep wild mink, who normally have a home range of several kilometers, in tightly packed cages as small as two pieces of paper,” says Urton. “These cage sizes are already among the smallest in the world.” He says the proposed amendments to the Code would also allow mink across Canada to be killed by having them breathe in engine exhaust or carbon dioxide. “This is absolutely unacceptable,” says Urton. “When we know the suffering these methods can cause to an animal, they simply can’t be allowed.”
The SPCA is urging its supporters to speak out against the rollbacks proposed by mink industry. The amendments to the Code are open for public comment until February 4, 2021. To speak up visit the link below:
Tips for filling out the survey:
- The survey asks you to identify yourself and indicate you are an animal welfare advocate.
- Please be polite. Submissions that include profanity or derogatory or threatening language will not be considered by NFACC.
- The survey includes highly detailed information about mink farming, with additions to the Code in red and deletions with a strikethrough.
- You can choose which sections to comment on, or just add your thoughts to the ‘general comments’ at the end. Be sure to review the changes to Sections 1.2.2 Pens and 6.1 Euthanasia Methods.
- The BC SPCA does not recommend these amendments are made to the Code.