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February 5, 2009

Canada's Fur Industry

Humane Society International/Canada

Every year in Canada, more than 2 million animals are killed by the fur industry. These animals suffer tremendously, all in the name of “fashion.”

Two horrifying "harvesting" methods

Although the fur industry does its best to keep the cruelty out of sight, suffering is a common ingredient in both methods of procuring fur, be it fur factory farming or trapping. Many, perhaps more than half, of these animals are killed specifically for fur trim—it is not a by-product.

Over one and a half million animals, primarily minks and foxes, are killed each year on fur factory farms in Canada. These animals live in horrific conditions in tiny, filthy cages, are denied basic care and denied the ability to satisfy their most basic instinctual behaviours. Their suffering peaks at the time of their slaughter, when they are killed in one of four ways—gassing, neck-breaking, lethal injection or anal electrocution,.

Trapping is the other method of acquiring fur. Each year in Canada, just under one million animals are caught in antiquated cruel traps (leghold traps, conibear traps, snares, drowning traps) for their fur. These animals are often left for days, without access no food, water or shelter, in extreme temperatures. One in four of these victims of fashion will chew off their own limbs in an attempt to escape, only to later die of blood loss, gangrene or other secondary infections. When the trappers finally come to collect the animals, they stomp or beat the animals to death. This terrible fate is not restricted to the targeted animals either.  Another estimated 9 million "trash" animals, including our familiar companion animals (dogs and cats), birds and even several endangered species, are accidentally caught and killed by fur traps each year. These animals are simply discarded since they have no economic value. 

The secrets to fur’s success—lies and misinformation

The fur industry is fighting hard to survive as the public becomes more aware and sensitive to the enormous suffering inherent in the production of fur.  A culture of misinformation and outright lies has grown from the industry’s desperation and has allowed a dying trade to regain a great deal of strength.

Shaving, dyeing, weaving and even mislabeling fur products are some of the ways the industry tries to disguise their products’ bloody origins.  In addition to this, the heavily subsidized Fur Council of Canada uses taxpayers’ dollars to present misleading arguments. Even if you are not buying fur, your tax dollars are supporting this unnecessary cruelty.

What we are doing

HSI Canada is committed to ending the pointless cruelty and killing perpetrated in the name of fashion.  By educating the public and corporations, we will fight the misinformation and lies put forth by the fur industry.

What you can do

As a consumer, you can fight the fur industry by buying and wearing fur-free garments only. Designers, retailers and other fashion industry insiders can help by only promoting and selling animal-friendly fashion.  Ask others to visit our website to learn why they should support fur-free fashion.

Learn More

Resources

Learn more

Read the latest news about HSI's work on fur issues around the world.

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