Federal Member of Parliament for Beaches-East York, Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, has given us a special chance to help animals. Erskine-Smith has introduced a private member’s bill, the Prohibition of Fur Farming Act. The legislation refers to a fur bearing animal as “it”, highlighting the urgent need to change attitudes towards animals. If passed, the act would make it illegal to:
(a) own or operate a fur farm or cause a fur farm to be operated;
(b) breed or inseminate a fur-bearing animal for the purpose of sending it or its offspring to a fur farm;
(c) slaughter a fur-bearing animal to use its pelt for commercial purposes; or
(d) give, rent, sell or transport a fur-bearing animal to a fur farm.
You may well already know that private members’ bills have little chance of becoming law. It’s true, odds of passage are not zero, but they’re not good, either. Nonetheless we must do our best to push for the passage of the Prohibition of Fur Farming Act.
How big is fur farming in Canada? According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), in 2020 there were 63 mink farms. AACF does not track fox or chinchilla farms. The “industry” is so small, in fact, that in 2011 Statistics Canada stopped tracking the number of animals trapped and farmed each year. However, the BC SPCA reports there were 27 fox farms across Canada in 2018.
Yes, fur farming is, in Canada, a small and dying business, but we must never forget the cruelty it is still inflicting on animals, today.
Canada’s political, cultural, and economic reality means the Act isn’t just about fur farming. It is also about fur fashion, people’s attitude towards animals, and, most importantly, changing our politicians’ willingness to protect animals.
According to the Fur Free Alliance, “twenty-two countries have either voted to ban the practice, have prohibited the farming of particular species, or have introduces stricter regulations that have effectively curtailed the practice.” Where does Canada stand on the issue? At the back of the pack, as usual.
How You Can Help
1. Please write or call your Member of Parliament today. Find out where they stand on the issue and voice your support for Bill C-247. Educate them about the cruelties of fur farms, the environmental impacts and the implications on pandemics and public health. Remind them that two thirds of Canadians share their homes with animals.
To find your Member of Parliament, simply use your postal code on Elections Canada’s “Voter Information Service”: https://elections.ca/ or call our office.
2. Join us! Your activism and financial support is crucial to keep animals top of mind for our elected officials. Large or small, one-time or monthly, your donations are deeply appreciated.