Hundreds of thousands of animals are farmed and killed for their fur every year in Canada. The vast majority of these animals are minks, followed by foxes. Other fur-bearing animals are also farmed for their fur in Canada including wolves, bobcats, lynx, and chinchillas. The Fur-Bearers compiles data gathered from provincial and federal sources to track the species of animals farmed for their fur and the number of active fur farms in Canada. This information can be viewed on the map below by clicking on each province.
Many animals kept on Canadian fur farms are wild animal species in Canada, with home ranges that can span thousands of acres to hundreds of square kilometers. On fur farms however, animals spend their entire lives trapped captivity, their confinement so severely restricted that they are unable to run, hunt, hide, or socialize. Fur farmed animals are prevented from engaging in virtually all the natural behaviours that they would exhibit freely in the wild. Severe physical and psychological conditions are well-documented among animals living in fur farms.
In addition to the cruel conditions that fur-farmed animals endure, the negative implications of fur farming extend beyond the animals that are subjected to extreme confinement in fur farms. Although industrial fur farms tend to operate hidden from the public eye, their impact is felt by communities located in close proximity to these operations.
The adverse impacts to the environment are even further reaching, where manure runoff from areas with high concentration of fur farms can affect surface and groundwater in nearby watersheds. The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the risks that fur farming poses to public health and the environment. The world has seen human-animal transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in mink, including in Canada. Epidemiologists have identified mink-related variants of the virus and have warned about virus spillover into wild animal populations where the virus can potentially become permanently established.
For these and other reasons, it is unsurprising that public opposition to fur farming is extremely high, both in Canada and across the world.
For more information about fur farming in Canada, visit the following pages: