An article in Wednesday’s London Free Press indicated that the fur industry is surging, with millions being made. What it doesn’t address is who is making those millions.
We recently visited Nova Scotia, particularly the areas between Yarmouth and Annapolis Royal, where fur farms are centered in Canada. Yes, there has been exponential growth in the industry. Yes, there is a lot of money being made. But no, it isn’t good for Canada.
Setting aside the disturbing lack of environmental regulation and enforcement in Nova Scotia’s fur industry, there is no evidence of a booming industry. In fact, unemployment rates remain the same; poverty remains the same; population levels are steadily decreasing; and once crystal-clear lakes and river systems are growing dark and murky.
While other industries are faced with strict controls and long-term environmental assessments (and remuneration for cleanup), the fur industry is not. While other industries bring full time jobs with benefits and pensions, extensive training and provide trickle down employment and community investment, the fur industry does not.
Even the product itself – fur – is not staying in Canada. It is the Chinese who have driven the price of fur pelts up; and as history has taught us over and over again, that price will come down. Will the fur industry stand behind the ranchers who have invested their life savings? Will the fur industry retrain the hundreds of migrant or part time workers they exploited during this boom?
Or will the fur industry make its money on the suffering of wildlife and leave those who did their best to provide for their families high and dry when they’ve taken all they can?
Canadians aren’t buying into the fur industry’s smoke and mirror show, and it’s time the government saw through the fog as well.
Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur/WeAnimals.org