2021 Census: Fewer than 100 fur farms left in Canada

Photo of a fox on a Quebec fur farm in 2014. This farm has since closed and resulted in the first ever conviction of animal cruelty for a fur farm operator in Canada. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur

New census data released from Statistics Canada reveals that fur farming in Canada continues to decline. The Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years and might provide the most accurate snapshot of the fur farming industry at the federal level. In a previous post, we sought to find out the number of fur farms in Canada by reaching out to various federal agencies, but the responses we received were inconclusive.

The census data shows that as of 2021, there were 79 mink farms and 18 fox farms left in Canada. This is down significantly compared to the previous census conducted in 2016, where there were 194 mink farms and 39 fox farms. 2021 marks the lowest number of fur farms in Canada since the census began collecting this data in 1981.

Note: The 2021 Census of Agriculture data does not include information about fur farming of other fur-bearing animals such as chinchillas, rabbits, or other animals.

The census also shows the number of fur farms operating in each province. In 2021, every province in Canada had at least one fur farm operating. Nova Scotia and Ontario continue to be the largest fur producing provinces. What we found surprising is that six fur farms are operating in Alberta: three mink and three fox farms. This is in contrast to previous Statistics Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada estimates which show that there have been zero fur farms operating in Alberta since 2017. This underscores the fact that fur farms operate with virtually no government oversight.

The 2021 census data is more evidence that fur farming is on its way out. The continued decline of fur farming in Canada and around the world shows that the era of fur is over.

Read our recent policy brief on fur farming

Last week The Fur-Bearers sent a brief about fur farming to MPs in Canada. This short 2-3 page brief provides a high level overview of fur farming, including information about animal welfare issues, public health concerns, background on Bill C-247: An Act to prohibit fur farming, and national survey data showing that the majority of Canadians support a ban on fur farming.

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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