ACTION ITEM: Canada’s fur farms need government assistance to get by

We’re often inundated with messages of the great and powerful fur industry, which alone is propping up the Canadian economy and providing thousands of jobs. Though we are yet to see any evidence of this, we have seen another kind of evidence: fur farmers need government assistance.

According to a press release from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, fur farmers will be given an eight-month reprieve to payback cash advances.

“Canada's mink producers facing financial challenges as they adjust to a dramatic shift in the world mink market have been granted more time to repay cash advances under the Advance Payments Program (APP),” stated the July 16 press release. “The Stay of Default was granted at the request of the APP administrators to provide producers with an additional eight months to sell their pelts and to repay their outstanding APP advances. Producers will also have the option to repay their APP advances in cash without penalty and at a lower rate than the original APP advance rate, to reflect the decline in prices.”

In brief, this means that fur farmers were unable to meet their financial obligations this year. Rather than do what they will with most businesses – foreclose or seize assets – the government is giving the farmers a break and providing an additional eight-months on the terms of the advances, as well as offering payment-without-penalty clauses.

Ordinarily, this kind of program is designed for farmers who provide for Canadians: grains, fruits and vegetables.

But for an industry that already receives government funding and has few, if any, real regulations in place, this is almost humourous if it wasn’t so tragic. In recent years, fur prices were inflated by a high demand from Asian markets. But as those markets began to dwindle in the last 16 months, the prices also dwindled.

In Denmark, one of the highest produces of fur in the world, 2014 price estimates went from 622 Danish Krone per pelt ($122.87 CAD) to 270 Krone per pelt ($53.43 CAD).

We said at the time that we expected Canadian markets to follow – and they have.

The questions then becomes: will the government let this industry falter and fail, as it rightfully should, or will they give our tax dollars to the few who have made millions on the blood of fur-bearing animals?

ACTION ITEM

Tell your Member of Parliament (MP) that you don’t want subsidies given to this disgusting industry. Write a letter, make a phone call or send an e-mail and make your beliefs – as a taxpayer and voting citizen – clear!

Sample Letter

Dear (MP name here),

It has come to my attention that fur farmers across Canada are being given a reprieve from their Advance Payments Program debts. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada recently announced an eight-month delay in payments, as well as payment-without-penalty offers to these farmers.

As a taxpayer and advocate for justice, I ask that you not support this failing industry. It has been known for decades that fur is a cyclical industry and that more and more Canadians do not support it. Only through sales to Asian markets was the price of mink and fox fur raised in recent years.

As your constituent I am asking that you explore the true, disturbing nature of these farms and not grant any further reprieve to this dying industry. The few who profit from the slaughter of innocent animals is by far outweighed by those who oppose it morally, ethically and environmentally.

Visit The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (thefurbearers.com) to find out more about this upsetting industry.

(Your name and address)

Please let us know if you hear back from your MP or any other contact you receive at info@thefurbearers.com.

Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur/WeAnimals.org

Video: The Truth About Mink Farms

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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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