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OPINION – UBCIC Celebrates BC Government’s Decision to Phase Out Mink-Farming Industry

Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver – The Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) welcomes the recent announcement from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries that due to public health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is set to permanently ban mink farming in the province through a phased approach that will allow mink farmers to transition to other agriculture industries. 

Throughout the pandemic, UBCIC has voiced its concerns around the harms associated with the fur farming industry, and by UBCIC Resolution 2021-62 “Support for Phasing Out Industrial Fur Farming in BC” the UBCIC Chiefs-in-Assembly joined the BC SPCA, likeminded organizations, and concerned members of the public in advocating for the phasing out of all fur farms in BC due to the many pressing COVID-19-related health risks, ethical, and economic concerns. Resolution 2021-62 also outlines UBCIC’s ethical and cruelty-free stance against fur farms and upholds the inherent and traditional rights of First Nations to harvest fur and food respectfully and ethically from abundant wildlife populations.

UBCIC is pleased to see progress being made to end an industry that so many Canadians consider inhumane and wasteful, and one that does not contribute to BC’s food systems or priorities around food security. We applaud the tireless efforts from stakeholders to get to this critical development, and while significant change is on the horizon, UBCIC reminds the government that critical action remains be taken to protect other animal species, including abrogating the Fur Farming Regulation under the Animal Health Act as it still allows for other species to be potentially farmed. Moving forward, UBCIC hopes the Province will work together and inclusively with stakeholders to phase out all fur farms, ensuring that any new legislation, regulations, or policies around fur farms also fully aligns with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. UBCIC also welcomes the Province’s commitment to assist fur farmers transition to other agriculture industries; however, we also request that any transitions are done in partnership with stakeholders, ensuring that any agriculture involving animals is conducted in an ethical and cruelty-free manner.

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