A website for the Nova Scotia Mink Industry Enhancement program has been removed. Like the website, the provincial subsidies for mink farms under this program have vanished as well. The Fur-Bearers confirmed with the Department of Agriculture that this program is no longer being offered by the province. The department stated it was offered under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Agreement but that it is not currently offered under the new Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Agreement.
Last year, The Fur-Bearers examined the Mink Industry Enhancement program, which paid out $25 to mink farmers for each breeding female mink. Through a freedom of information request, we learned that the province issued $921,050 to mink producers in 2021-2022. We called on Nova Scotians to contact their MLAs to voice their concerns about fur farming and this program. Our op-ed called on the provincial government to stop funding fur farming, an out of date practice that harms animals, threatens public health, and pollutes the environment, all for luxury fashion products that no one needs.
We commend the province of Nova Scotia for not continuing this program under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Agreement. The province has taken a step in the right direction and now needs to take leadership by initiating a transition away from the practice of fur farming, where fur farmers and workers can be supported to move to sustainable and ethical opportunities. One example is the supports provided to former mink farm workers in British Columbia to obtain training in the province’s greenhouse sector after the province’s mink farming ban. The Fur-Bearers published a report that provides further examples of economic possibilities in a post-fur farming world.
Thank you to all Nova Scotians who have raised their voice for fur-bearing animals and called on the province to end its support for fur farming.
Global mink fur production decline
The end of Nova Scotia’s mink subsidy program can be viewed in the context of a global decline in mink fur production. New data published by the Fur Free Alliance shows that global mink fur production was halved in two years: 33 million pelts produced in 2020 fell to 17 million pelts in 2022. It is clear that there is no future in fur farming.
Fur production is unsustainable and should no longer be supported by public money, whether it be provincial or federal. Ending financial support for fur farming is an important first step. But for the sake of animals, the environment, and public health, governments need to transition away from the practice for good, as many countries have already done.