The Montreal SPCA, acting on a tip, began an investigation into a fur farm north of the city in May of 2014. What they found was appalling.
Veterinarians accompanied the Montreal SPCA to the location. Immediately, several foxes were humanely euthanized due to the extent of their suffering and inability to recover.
The press release issued Thursday by the Montreal SPCA noted injuries and health issues including:
- Toe fractures
- Tail injuries
- Tooth fractures
- Ear and eye infections
- Internal bleeding, and
- Neurological issues.
We know life is hard on fur farms – this is further proof. The Montreal SPCA wanted to lay criminal charges, but authorization to do so is still pending. Meanwhile, legislative constraints required that the Montreal SPCA turn over the file and investigation to the Quebec Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks (FFP).
On August 4, the Montreal SPCA and Humane Society International/Canada accompanied the Ministry of FFP to the site and seized 16 arctic foxes, as the owner of the farm did not have the appropriate permits for this particular species.
Since then, Montreal SPCA and HSI/Canada officials have urged the Minister of FFP, Laurent Lessard, to work with them in removing the remaining animals and enforce existing laws. As of today, August 13, they have received no response.
This is an outrage. Animal welfare laws, as weak as they may be, exist to prevent and put an end to cases of animal cruelty and neglect. If ever there were a time to act, it would be now.
But for some reason, Minister Lessard and the Ministry of FFP have not done so.
We are joining the Montreal SPCA and HSI/Canada in demanding immediate action from Lessard. For a province that is considering sweeping changes to their civil code to protect animals, this is an insult to every living being in their jurisdiction, human and non-human alike.
The fur industry may come out and say this is a one-off issue; that this is the exception to the otherwise “humane” and “green” fur industry. But with weak, industry-driven regulations (if any) and a simple code of practice, there is no way to know what is going on at fur farms. The industry may randomly open up a single farm for inspection, but what about the hundreds of others that aren’t publicly accessible? If the fur industry wants the people of Quebec – and Canada – to believe them, they must immediately also act on this case and insist third-party legislation be enacted with an open-door policy and an increase to enforcement powers.
We, and all the animals, today need your help. Take a moment to email Minister Lessard and demand action for the animals. Copy your local representatives and demand action for the animals. This is a government unwilling to act on laws that already exist to protect animals. We will not stand for it.
Contact info for Minister Lessard:
Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs
5700, 4e Avenue Ouest
Québec (Québec)G1H 6R1
Find your MNA
Dear Minister Laurent Lessard,
I am writing to demand that you and the Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks (Ministère de la Forêts, Faune, et Parcs – MFFP) take immediate action to support the Montreal SPCA and prosecute the heinous crimes against animals taking place in Quebec.
Multiple inspections in recent weeks have revealed that the foxes are in critical condition and suffer from serious health problems including dehydration, emaciation, toe fractures, tail injuries, tooth fractures, ear and eye infections, internal bleeding and neurological issues. Further, the condition of these foxes has been steadily deteriorating. Wildlife experts, veterinarians, the Montreal SPCA and Humane Society International/Canada have stressed the necessity of applying provincial legislation applicable to foxes and other wildlife in captivity in order to immediately seize these animals, yet government authorities are refusing to take action.
Take the time to look at the photos and videos of these animals and try to find a way to explain it away. Your role as the Minister of Forests, Fauna and Parks includes enforcement of laws when necessary. There has never been a time that has required action more than this.
As a taxpayer and a voter, I expect to see immediate and public movement from yourself and your Ministry on this important matter.
Cher Ministre Laurent Lessard,
Je vous transmet ce message pour vous demander, de concert avec votre Ministère, le MFFP, que vous prenez des mesures immédiates pour soutenir la SPCA de Montréal dans ce dossier. L'état des renards et des visons examinés par des professionnels médicaux est déplorable et je n'arrive pas à comprendre pourquoi votre ministère ne suit pas l'avis de la SPCA de Montréal ainsi que plusieurs experts sur la faune.
Prenez le temps de regarder les photos et les vidéos de ces animaux et essayer de trouver une façon d'expliquer comment cette situation lamentable peut être acceptable. Votre rôle en tant que Ministre des Forêts, Faune et Parcs inclut l'application de la loi si nécessaire. Il n'y a jamais eu un moment qui a nécessité une action plus que maintenant.
Comme contribuable, je m'attends à voir un mouvement publique immédiat de votre part ainsi que de votre ministère sur cette question.
Please forward any correspondence received to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos provided by Jo-Anne McArthur/Montreal SPCA