A Quebec fur farmer has entered a plea of not guilty to six charges of animal cruelty and neglect.
According to the Montreal SPCA, whose investigation into the Montérégie fur farm led to the charges, Jean-Luc Rodier will be back in court April 16, 2015.
The charges related to the foxes and mink kept by Rodier, as well as two dogs living on the farm. If convicted, Rodier could face up to 18 months in prison, $10,000 in fines and a lifetime ban on having custody or control of an animal.
Rodier has previously been convicted of animal cruelty, though the 1996 charges in relation to a dog breeding scheme exited prior to the judicial option of a ban on ownership of animals.
“Though we are pleased that the person responsible for the suffering of the foxes and minks on this specific fur farm will be facing criminal charges, this case points to a much bigger problem,” said Sophie Gaillard, lawyer and campaigns manager for the Montreal SPCA’s animal advocacy department. “Every year in Canada, over 2.5 million animals are raised on fur farms, subject to intensive farming practices that seriously compromise their welfare, including confinement in cramped wire cages that deprive them of the ability to satisfy their most basic behavioural needs and death by anal electrocution or gassing – practices which are standard in the industry and, sadly, completely legal.”
The Montreal SPCA joined forces with The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals and LUSH Cosmetics in launching the Make Fur History campaign – a consumer awareness program aimed at the fur farms exploiting fur-bearing animals from coast to coast.
You can learn more about the atrocities of the fur industry in Canada and take the pledge to Make Fur History at MakeFurHistory.com.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals will continue to monitor the Montérégie fur farm story and bring you the latest updates as they’re available.
Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur for the Montreal SPCA