Four mink kittens with the skull of a fifth kitten on a fur farm. Due to the stress and limited space, it is common for farmed mink in distress to kill and cannibalize each other. Jo-Anne McArthur / We the Animals
This week people around the world are celebrating a landmark decision by the government of British Columbia, Canada to end mink farming in the province. The measures include a permanent ban on mink farming and phasing out the keeping of live mink on farms by April 2023. The move follows an intensive campaign by HSI / Canada, as well as our allies, the Fur-Bearers and the British Columbia SPCA. , with support from infectious disease specialists, local stakeholders and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. We are heartened that so many have come together to end this cruel and dangerous practice of breeding mink for fur.
HSI / Canada and our partners have consistently called on the BC government to ban fur farming in the wake of disturbing reports of horrific animal suffering in these facilities. On British Columbia’s fur farms, hundreds of thousands of semi-aquatic wild animals are intensely confined in small cages and deprived of their most basic natural needs. As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, HSI / Canada and our coalition partners warned the provincial government that it is these overcrowded conditions that make fur farms not only terribly inhuman, but also time bombs for zoonotic disease epidemics.
Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 outbreaks have been detected on nearly 450 mink farms in 12 countries, including three in British Columbia, resulting in the mass culling of millions of mink. Studies show that humans can transmit the virus to furry farmed mink. Once on the farm, the virus spreads quickly and can mutate. Today, the COVID-19 mink variant has not only been found among wild mink caught near fur farms, but it has also been transmitted to humans in the Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Sweden. and potentially in the United States.
In reviewing the situation in British Columbia, the provincial health officer noted that “the susceptibility of mink to infection with SARS-CoV-2 creates a risk of developing variants of concern that pose a threat to public health. and could affect the effectiveness of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in British Columbia.
British Columbia is the latest member in a growing list of nations and territories, including Estonia, Hungary and the Netherlands, which have taken decisive action to end fur farming in their territory. due to serious public health and animal welfare issues. Banning fur farming is clearly the right move to protect public health, and the move will also prevent the suffering and cruel killing of hundreds of thousands of mink in British Columbia each year. HSI / Canada will continue to campaign to end fur farming across Canada, and we hope the rest of the country will soon follow British Columbia’s lead to make history in l breeding of fur animals.
Follow Kitty Block on Twitter @HSUSKittyBlock.
PS We want to hear from you! Let us know what types of stories you like to read A human world and what we could do to make the blog even better by taking this short survey.
Fauna / Marine mammals