Today we gave Nova Scotia’s Department of Agriculture notice: we’re paying attention. Several fur farms were identified in the formal complaint, which highlighted clear and consistent problems with feces, urine and water pollution at and around fur farms. We have alleged that these issues are in violation of the Fur Farm Act of Nova Scotia as well as the Animal Protection Act.
The complaints include details such as:
- Piles of excrement left outside of mink hutches;
- Liquid feces or urine leaching into the ground between hutches;
- Animal housing within 50 or 100 metres from nearby waterways;
- Numerous instances of algae blooms (suggesting concentration of nitrogen and phosphorous in surface waters) adjacent to or nearby fur farm operations.
All of this was evidenced by roadside and aerial photos of the farms – clearly visible from public places. Yet it took a non-profit Association from the other side of the country to make a complaint – it appears no public offices are on the lookout for these problems.
Not only does the Department of Agriculture have the authority to investigate and enforce legislation regarding fur farms in Nova Scotia, but they have the responsibility, as well.
Animal welfare issues notwithstanding, there are obvious and critical environmental concerns around fur farming. And we’re not the first to say it. Studies from the David Suzuki Foundation, the Acadia Institute for Estuarine Research and CE Delft have outlined these problems for years.
On a more personal level, we’ve met numerous families in Nova Scotia who are truly frightened of their local ecosystems. Homes where families have lived for generations now have swimming pools – right next to lakes – because of the new presence of potentially hazardous blue-green algae. Yet their government has blindly supported the fur industry.
As our complaint works its way through the system – and with the well-funded fur lobby opposing us, who knows how long that may take – we want Canadians to continue to take the pledge to #MakeFurHistory. This powerful sentiment – shared via social media, through outreach packages, and even on shirts – will help get elected officials paying attention.
And one day, we’re certain, we will see a Canada that has made the choice to #MakeFurHistory.
Photo: Image taken from publicly accessible road illustrates feces piled alongside open-air hutches on a Nova Scotia fur farm.