In November 2021, The Province began the process to phase out B.C.’s mink-farming industry due to ongoing public-health risks associated with COVID-19.
“This decision follows the recommendations of public health officials and infectious disease experts about managing the threat of the virus for workers at the farms and the broader public,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “Our government will work with affected farmers and workers to help them pursue other farming, business or job opportunities that support their families.”
The proposed phase out follows the conditions of the provincial health officer’s order and includes:
- a permanent ban on breeding mink;
- a permanent ban on live mink on farms by April 2023; and
- all operations ceasing completely, with all pelts sold, by 2025.
Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee + Juno-Award winning Canadian musician Jann Arden, alongside American Idol contender and actress Amy Jean Davis, has joined Canadians across the nation, with a customized carol for BC’s Hon. Lana Popham.
Curated by organization Ban Fur Farms BC (BFFBC), the adapted version of “Away In A Manager” calls attention to the November announcement regarding the provincial phase out of all British Columbia mink farms. While the announcement, which was cited as being due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a huge feat for concerned community citizens, the Ministry has yet to enact a complete provincial ban of all fur farms.
Outside of the mink farms which will be impacted by the phase-out, one chinchilla farm remains in British Columbia. Furbearers has taken BC to court over the chinchilla farm’s license, after documents obtained indicated no health management plan was in place [required by law].
An FOI request reveals that the Ministry of Agriculture has also been entertaining the potential establishment of two new fur farms (in Prince George and Langley) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one of which being a fox farm.
Over the past year, hundreds of outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred on fur farms globally, with many nations taking decisive action to end all fur farming permanently in their jurisdictions.
BFFBC states that, “until Lana Popham and the Ministry of Agriculture institute a provincial fur farm ban, we maintain all our primary concerns:
1] The impact of fur farms on the environment; halting any progress we have made as a province in regards to the current climate crisis.
2] The public health risks posed by any [and all] fur farms, in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic; protocols have been established but they are unmonitored by any body of government or organization.
3] The public health risks posed by any [and all] fur farms, as being ideal sites for the development and spread of future, unknown viruses.