Response to Ministry of Agriculture on COVID-19 and mink farms

Our response to the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture regarding COVID-19 and mink farms in the province.

Photo: Mink live in cramped conditions in wire-bottomed cages until they are anally electrocuted or gassed to death and skinned. This photo is from a BC mink farm circa 2014.

July 3, 2020

Honourable Lana Popham,

We appreciate your response to our concerns regarding transmission of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 between mink and workers in B.C.’s communities.

However, you did not address one of the greatest concerns: the lack of inspections and current conditions on B.C.’s mink farms. Given the documented realities of fur farms in Canada and abroad, it is difficult to accept in good faith that those who profit from the breeding and slaughtering of confined animals are meeting all health, welfare and environmental requirements when they haven’t been inspected since at least December 2019.

We are yet to receive word on when these farms were last inspected – a Freedom of Information Act request is filtering through the system currently. We also want to know if the Ministry will require testing on mink and workers on the farms. The Fur-Bearers and our thousands of taxpaying supporters are curious as to why elected officials aren’t openly pushing for greater inspections, particularly as these factory-style mink farms are being shut down for ongoing failures in regards to welfare and new links to COVID-19 in Europe.

We look forward to a timely response on this important matter and trust that you take it as seriously as we do.


Lesley Fox

Executive Director

The Fur-Bearers

Honourable Lana Popham's First Response

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The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at

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