Focus on Canada: How ‘Fur Trim is a Trap’, and Why Culling Grey Seals is a Bad Idea

November 30, 2012
By

Here’s this week’s show!

With the weather getting more and more wintery, this often sends us on a search for warmer clothing, which can often, knowingly or unknowingly, include fur trimmed items.

Many people purchase items labeled as “faux fur” with the thought that it looks like fur, but it’s fake so it’s OK. Unfortunately, The Canadian Textile and Labelling Act does not require the labelling of animal pelts or hides which can make matters very confusing and leads people to buy what they think is fake, but in fact comes from dog and cat fur farms in China.

Also, the average Canadian is oblivious to the fact that each year, approximately 2 million dogs and cats were slaughtered to make these “faux fur” items.

Today we speak with Fur-Bearer Defenders about the fur industry in Canada and about their recently launched subway campaign in Toronto that asks riders “What do you see in fur trim?” Do you see a trapped animal? A caged animal? Or even a best friend? No gimmicks. No angle. Just an honest question. What do you see in fur trim? Is it really possible to see past the unnecessary suffering and death?

The ‘Fur Trim Is A Trap’ campaign was launched with very clear intentions: to expose the truth about the fur trade, to call on individuals to make compassionate decisions, and to work towards ending the commercial fur trade. The ways in which the fur trade traps animals are heinous whether it is using a leg-hold, Conibear or snare trap, or confining them to the tiny, filthy cages used on fur farms both here and abroad (the dog/cat fur industry in Asia).

But it doesn’t end there. The fur industry traps people as well, primarily through the perpetuation of three main ‘myths’. They are: fur is ‘humane’; fur is integral to the survival of indigenous communities; and fur is ‘green’ (our show from April 2012 debunks the myth that fur is eco-friendly). ‘Fur Trim Is A Trap’ aims to counter this misinformation, and to tell the story of trapping through the eyes of the real witnesses of the trade: the animals.

Let’s end this cruel trend together.

Bill C-296, proposed by East Van’s own Libby Davies, needs your support to demand labeling and ban dog & cat fur imports!

Fur Farms

According to Statistics Canada, approximately 2.6 million animals are raised and killed on fur farms each year.

The two main fur bearing animal species currently raised on fur farms are mink (Neovison vison, also known as Mustela vison) and the Silver Fox (Vulpes vulpes).

Foxes on fur farms live in small wire mesh cages where they eat, sleep, urinate and defecate with no access to the outdoors or anything natural to them. Cages are in rows under open or partially open sheds.

Published by Agriculture Canada, the Recommended Code of Practice for Ranched Fox suggests foxes should be killed by anal electrocution. In fact there is a specific tool called the “Norwegian Fox Stunner Type 3”, which can be connected to a 12-volt car battery. Probes are then inserted into the anus and mouth and an electric current is delivered for a minimum of 5 seconds.

Other suggested methods of killing foxes include poison (barbiturates overdose) and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Minks are also kept in small wire mesh cages, in rows under an open or partially opened shed. They are most often killed by carbon monoxide (in a chamber) or by electrical stunning followed by “cervical dislocation”, in other words — breaking the neck or snapping the spine (suggested in the Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Mink, published by Agriculture Canada).

By keeping wild and extremely timid animals, such as the fox and mink, in these conditions, we are giving them no sense of freedom, joy, family connection, or anything that is natural to them. They live in a constant state of fear and uncertainty. They are treated as nothing other than product, and not cherished for the beautiful creatures they are.

Eighty-five percent of the fur industry’s skins come from animals on fur farms. This is a sad, sickening and heart-breaking industry that needs to be shut down. It is up to all of us to make a little extra effort to not buy and urge others not to buy these products.

To spread the word about the sobering truths of the fur industry in Canada share this amazing Infographic created by Fur-Bearer Defenders.

Thanks to Jackie McIntosh, our newest contributor, for composing the preceding information about the fur industry in Canada.

The Proposed “Cull” of Canada’s Grey Seals

Sheryl Fink, the Director of the Seal Program at IFAW, speaks with us today about the myriad of problems with the recent recommendation of Department of Fisheries and Oceans Senate Committee to cull up to 70,000 grey seals in the Atlantic.

Sheryl has observed the commercial seal hunt in Canada for 10 years, documenting and providing ongoing evidence of its cruelty. She is frequent lecturer on seal hunting at conferences, drawing upon her experience with IFAW and her background as a biologist.

If you’re as outraged by this as we are, SEND A MESSAGE to Fisheries Minister Gail Shea, asking her to unconditionally reject all calls for a grey seal cull.


What’s Your Beef?

 
Click HERE to listen to a bonus track!
Alison responds to an article written by a 5th generation rancher featured in Beef Magazine online: Six Reasons Why I Eat Meat Every Day — Mondays, Too.

Liberation Songs

Featured in the show today are two great songs by local vegan artists whom I am very blessed to know!
Investigative by BC-based Falcao & Monashee. Pick up their album here.
Vancity Blues by local vegan and healer, Risa, from her album R & Be.

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