Chinchilla fur farm. Photo credit: Andrew Skowron / We Animals Media.
The BC SPCA would like to thank the tens of thousands of British Columbians who spoke out against the suffering of mink on commercial farms in B.C. Our voices did not go unheard – in November 2021, the provincial government announced a phase-out of mink farming in B.C.
Sadly, it is still legal to farm chinchilla, fisher, marten, and nutria in B.C., and there are no prohibitions on mink farming in other Canadian provinces.
A Private Member’s Bill (C-247) was introduced to the House of Commons in February 2022 to prohibit fur farming of all species in Canada. However, this bill has not reached the second reading, and is currently not on the list of bills for government to debate.
Here’s how you can take action:
Contact your local MP (Member of Parliament) to voice your support for ending all fur farming across Canada and ask them to do the same. You can call your MP or write an email. Feel free to use our prompts below to voice your support for this ban, or find more information on fur farming.
Why end all fur farming?
- Fur farming is inherently inhumane. Small, barren, cramped cages are not appropriate for wild animals, even those born in captivity, as they retain their natural instincts and needs.
- It’s irresponsible to allow fur farms to operate during a pandemic. Fur farming presents the opportunity for mutation and spread of COVID-19 and the intensive housing of susceptible species puts more people and animals at risk.
- Fur farming conflicts with traditional Indigenous values. The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) has called for an end to fur farming.
- Fur farming is not a significant contributor to the Canadian economy, yet millions of dollars distributed by our federal and provincial governments have supported struggling fur farms. Government funding should support farmers who are providing food for Canadians, rather than creating luxury products for international markets.
A recent poll found 74% of Canadians support a national ban on fur farming, and now it’s time for the federal government to listen. Although farming is a provincially regulated activity, the federal government can act to ban fur farming across the country.
Mink Farm COVID-19 Crisis Timeline
June 2020 – In wake of COVID-19 outbreaks on European fur farms, BC SPCA warns the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Health of the risk to B.C. and need for a pandemic plan.
Dec 2020 – First COVID-19 outbreak occurs on a B.C. fur farm.
Dec 2020 – The Fur-Bearers, HSI/Canada, BC SPCA, and infectious disease experts call on B.C. government to end fur farming. 19,155 concerned British Columbians join the BC SPCA in calling for a moratorium on mink farming in British Columbia.
Dec 2020 – COVID-19 outbreak occurs on a second B.C. fur farm, at least 200 mink dead.
Jan 2021 – 1000 mink culled on B.C. fur farm after outbreak.
Jan 2021 – David Suzuki and other scientists call for an end to fur farming in B.C.
March 2021 – Breeding resumes in B.C. despite previous COVID outbreaks.
April 2021 – Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls for a moratorium on fur farming in the province.
April 2021 – Infectious disease experts and B.C. doctors appeal to the Ministry of Health about spillover risks.
May 2021 – Third outbreak of COVID-19 on a mink farm in B.C.
July 2021 – Animal advocates learn more about the fur industry in B.C. during webinar.
July 2021 – BC SPCA and Union of BC Indian Chiefs press the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Premier for an update.
July 2021 – Fourth outbreak of COVID-19 on a mink farm in B.C., found via testing of escaped mink. The Public Health Officer places a moratorium on new mink farms (PDF) and the province announces a review of its policies and regulations with respect to fur farms.
August 2021 – Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farmed Mink extends deadline to move to larger cages.
September 2021 – The BC SPCA formally requests budget allocation from the provincial government to provide a dignified transition for fur farmers and workers to other sectors, leading to a ban on fur farming in B.C.
October 2021 – A group of 29 British Columbian infectious disease specialists send an open letter (PDF) to B.C. Premier John Horgan calling for an end to fur farming.
October 2021 – New provincial petition to ban fur farming in B.C.
October 2021 – The Union of BC Indian Chiefs formally endorse a resolution that calls for phasing out of fur farming in B.C. (PDF)
November 2021 – Success! The province announces a phase-out of the mink industry
February 2022 – New federal bill to end all fur farming in Canada introduced.