“Both financially, and with respect to farm management, Aleutian disease has been our biggest challenge for more than 50 years,” Matt Moses of the Nova Scotia Mink Breeders Association told The Chronicle Herald. “If we were able to pinpoint which segment of DNA within the animals determines their tolerance to the virus, that would be big.”
Aleutian disease led to significantly reduced revenues for the east coast industry, which, coupled with lowering prices globally, resulted in a $20M bailout in 2014.
The $500,000 of taxpayer money is being matched by the Mink Breeders Association, meaning $1,000,000 will be invested into an industry that few Canadians want or support. It also shows an amount of willful ignorance – or greed – by provincial decision-makers who have not yet invested in exploring the waste created by mink farms.
In fact, The Fur-Bearers filed a formal complaint with the government recently, alleging an increase in dangerous blue-green algae and other water-based hazards associated with the mink industry in western Nova Scotia. The province has not acknowledged any actions or investigations are taking place.
The province of Nova Scotia is seeing the potential dollar signs within an inherently inhumane industry. And despite investments over the years, that industry has continued to dwindle as world prices fluctuate and Canadians learn the truth about fur. It is time for them to be responsible and look to alternative, ecologically-friendly and long-term solutions to their economic woes, while they still have an environment in which to live.
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