Paul Hollingsworth, spokesperson for the Native/Animal Brotherhood
states: "For 300 years the native people have been tools of the fur
trade. The fur trade took our land, our culture, and our animal
brothers. Once we were one with Mother Earth and all her creatures. It's
time we listened to the animals' voices instead of trading in their
blood. To argue that a fur ban will harm Native peoples is ridiculous.
We are already harmed in many ways and at many levels. Native people
trapped before white people came to North America, but their culture
does not hinge on this aspect. It is rich and varied."
Less than 1% of all fur available for sale in North America comes
from native trapping. Less that one-tenth of one percent of fur
available on the international market comes from native trappers.
A fur coat is a product derived from the suffering of the animals
whose skins go into its manufacture. Worldwide, over 30 million animals
are killed each year for their fur.
According to Statistics Canada, 952,000 pelts were "harvested" from
trapped animals in Canada in 1991. It is estimated that another 200,000
non-target animals (including endangered species and family companion
animals) were also caught in traps. Indicative of how the fur industry
views sentient animal life, these unfortunate beings are termed "trash."
Some animals are so desperate to get out of these leghold, snare and
conibear traps that they will chew off their own limbs to escape. It is
estimated that some 100,000 animals suffered this unspeakably brutal
fate in 1991.
In 1992, 997,000 animals were killed on ranches for the Canadian fur
industry. The long-term confinement (in cages 12" long and 18" wide)
endured by these wild animals frustrates their natural instincts. Common
problems occurring on fur farms include frost-bitten feet, infections
resulting from the wire footing slicing through animals' pads, tongues
freezing to the metal drinking cups, and the killing of the young by the
mother as a result of the cramped, high-stress environment.
Being a semi-aquatic animal, mink would normally spend 65 to 70% of
their time in the water. On fur farms, they are denied water beyond their drinking needs. A mink needs open space to run and water in which
to swim and hunt. Ranch raised mink, deprived of these things, turn to
self-mutilation, and exhibit neurotic behavior. As many as 15% will die
prematurely from stress induced diseases, bad sanitation, or summer
heat. Those that survive until pelting time will die via suffocation in
a gas chamber or by neck-breaking.
One out of every five foxes born in captivity will die before
pelting season. When the killing season arrives, foxes usually meet
their end through anal electrocution, or through injections of poisonous
Another species commonly raised on fur farms is the chinchilla, a
small squirrel-like animal from South America. 100 chinchillas must die
too make a full length fur coat. The fur industry argues that genital
electrocution (now renamed "ventral" electrocution) and neck breaking
are humane methods of killing for the chinchilla.
The reality endured by the animals exists in sharp and brutal
contrast to the glamorous image projected by the furriers.