Vancouver ( Ban Fur Farms BC) – The health and safety of BC residents continues to be put at risk, with the recent Ministry of Agriculture’s announcement that four mink escaped from their enclosures on a fur farm, and two of them tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
With ongoing inaction from the Ministry of Agriculture, BC Public Health stepped in on July 27, and announced an immediate moratorium on new mink fur farms, and restrictions to prevent more mink from being bred. However, the spread of COVID-19 on fur farms is not limited to mink: it is also a concern for existing chinchilla farm(s), and potential new fox and other fur farms which could be established following the moratorium.
In the middle of June, Ban Fur Farms BC (BFFBC) sent a letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Minister of Health Adrian Dix, requesting them to disallow the Ministry of Agriculture from accepting new fur farm applications in British Columbia, due to COVID-19 concerns. Within the new Public Health order, Dr. Bonnie Henry stated: ” mink farming is a health hazard as it is an activity which endangers or continues to endanger public health.”
In the BC Legislature on June 3, Hon. Lana Popham stated that she will not be taking any action with regards to fur farms from a Ministry of Agriculture point of view and is standing by on direction from Public Health. Hon. Popham: “As far as making decisions around mink operations and COVID and shutting farms down or not, we take our guidance from the Public Health Officer on that.”
Over the past year, hundreds of outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred on fur farms globally, with many nations taking decisive action to end fur farming in their jurisdictions.
BFFBC states that: ” Following the new Public Health Order, BFFBC continues to call on the province to immediately take further action, by banning fur farming altogether. The new moratorium is a positive shift to disallow new fur farms, however it does nothing to mitigate existing fur farms, which are at the center of the current COVID-19 outbreaks. It is of urgent nature that we acknowledge all of the risks posed by fur farms and halt the very industry that paves way for new variants, outbreaks, and another myriad of public health crises.”
For more information from Ban Fur Farms BC, contact Zoe Peled at: email@example.com or 604-729-8627