Millions owed, but government gives fur farmers extra time to repay debts

Millions of dollars are owed to a federal loan program by Nova Scotia’s fur farmers, but the Ministry of Agriculture has opted to give the industry an extra year to repay the debt.

The Chronicle Herald reported that 35 farm owners who owe approximately $5.7 million due by October 31, 2016, were granted the extension by the government.

“Under the program, the federal government guarantees loans of up to $400,000 taken out as an advance of up to 50 per cent of the estimated value of a mink breeder’s harvest of pelts,” the Chronicle Herald wrote. “The mink farmer then has up to 18 months to pay back those loans which are administered in Nova Scotia through the Agri-Commodity Management Association.”

Industry insiders have stated that Nova Scotia’s mink fur production (the killing of minks and removal of their skin for processing and sale) dropped from 2.3 million pelts in 2015 to under one million this year, and prices for pelts plummeted from highs of nearly $100 to less than $40 – below the cost of production.

The fur industry is trying to spin this as a temporary downturn – but the simple truth is that fur is a commodity, not a necessity, and the world is turning away from it. Values may never return, and it’s time for governments to stop investing in this inherently inhumane industry.It’s time to #MakeFurHistory.

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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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