There are still nine mink farms and one chinchilla farm in the province.
Speak out to stop fur farming today.
While outbreaks of COVID-19 continue on B.C. mink farms, updates were made in August to the national Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farmed Mink, the standard that dictates acceptable care for mink on farms across Canada. Due to strong opposition to the changes, many of the most concerning edits were scrapped, and there were some additions and clarifications that will better protect mink. Requirements around euthanasia, nest boxes, feeding, and training all improved because caring people spoke up for mink. Despite this, it is still clear that fur farms cannot meet the needs of mink and they will continue to suffer on farms until the industry is phased out.
Shockingly, a five-year extension for transitioning to larger cages was implemented, making the deadline for replacing the smallest cages 2028 rather than the original 2023. We were hoping the industry would move mink to larger cages sooner, but instead they pushed back the deadline. Sadly, even the new cage sizes are still far too small for mink, who would naturally roam over several kilometer ranges. This is why we are working to stop fur farming.
Your voice is needed. Tell the B.C. government to end fur farming to prevent animal suffering and protect us all from potential new viral mutations.
Email the Minister of Agriculture
State your strong opposition to inhumane and dangerous fur farming in B.C.
Consider including these key points in your email:
- Fur farming is inherently inhumane. Small, barren, cramped cages are not appropriate for wild animals, even those born in captivity.
- Financial support of the fur farming industry is unacceptable. In uncertain financial times, the $6.5 million given to mink farms by government funding programs could be better used to support farmers who are providing food for Canadians, rather than supporting fur for international markets.
- It’s irresponsible to allow fur farms to operate during a pandemic. Biosecurity measures have failed and the threat of viral mutations and transmissions from fur farms is an unacceptable risk to public health and wild mink populations. The Public Health Officer even stated in an Order (PDF) restricting animals to current numbers, that mink farming “could undermine the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccination program in British Columbia.”
- Fur farming conflicts with traditional Indigenous values. The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) has called for a moratorium on mink farming, stating “UBCIC does not condone the industrial breeding, confinement and slaughtering of minks for international luxury markets.”
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.