Fur trim has become a fashion statement in recent years, made popular by marketing powerhouses like Canada Goose Inc. Unfortunately, this successful marketing also leads many consumers to believe that fur is humane or sustainable – subjective terms that have little meaning.
There are even consumers who are wearing fur and don’t realize it’s real fur – a reality advocates are constantly surprised by. We’ve built this page to assist advocates, retailers, and consumers, face the facts about fur trim.
How fur trim is obtained
Just like all other forms of fur, the bits of trim require the blood and lives of animals. Fur-bearers, which include bobcats, lynx, raccoons, squirrels, coyotes, wolves, wolverines, foxes, and many others, are caught in the wild with restraining traps or snares, or held in confinement until their deaths on fur farms. These sentient animals are always killed, and it is always brutal.
The heritage and tradition of trapping
Marketing experts for fashion houses try to paint the romanticized picture of the Great White North and the Canadian frontiersmen. Granted, the historical version of this painting is streaked with the blood of millions.
In fact, the ‘traditions’ that surround trappers include the oppression of Aboriginal peoples dating back to first contact in the 15th century, the extinction of native sea mink, and the near destruction of beaver populations in the 19th century.
A ‘profound respect for nature’ hits the ear funny, when you consider hundreds of thousands of animals are slaughtered every year, primarily for their fur.
Humane trapping methods
The widely circulated claim that traps in Canada are humane or certified humane come from a trade agreement: The Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS).
It was created with the European Union after the majority of nations declared traps inhumane and threatened to ban the importation of fur from Canada and other countries. The problem, of course, is that the use of traps in labs and scientific models cannot replicate their use in the wild. And despite the 5 mm of rubber or spacing added to leg-hold traps, they still hold an animal against their will for 24-72 hours before a trapper returns to kill them. During that time, animals fight with everything they have to escape. In a recent case where a dog was caught in a ‘humane’ leg-hold trap, it took only moments for her to break 17 teeth and cause lacerations around her mouth.
In the testing of these traps, injuries were measured on a point system, which would allow ‘humane’ traps to cause internal injuries, broken teeth and appendages, gouged eyes and other horrific damages to animals. It should also be noted that the Canadian government has invested tens of millions of dollars in this trap research – taxpayer money – to fund a dwindling industry.
Coyotes and other fur-bearers are 'pests'
It’s almost funny when multi-national corporations take an opinion based on folklore and turns it into fact. Coyotes are not a pest. In fact, they are an integral species in ecosystems, as many other predators have been driven out by development.
Further to this, the persecution of coyotes through hunting or trapping causes them to increase their population without the oversight of a mated pair, who teach young pups how to hunt appropriately. In short, killing coyotes makes conflict situations worse.
At no time can the use of fur be considered humane or ethical. Thousands of innocent, sentient creatures that depend on their families are killed each year out of fear, ignorance and greed. And companies like Canada Goose promote this with their ongoing use of fur and dismissal of the concerns of the majority of Canadians.
Canada Goose and companies like them do not need to use fur. Numerous outdoor-wear clothing companies do not use fur. They have made the choice, and we ask that you make the choice, too, to #MakeFurHistory.