An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
HUMANS AREN’T THE ONLY ONES being affected by COVID-19. Several mink have been found to be infected with the disease at a B.C. mink farm at which eight workers have also tested positive.
Reports say 200 mink have died at the farm, though it’s unclear whether COVID-19 is the direct cause. We also know that some 2.5 million mink have been destroyed in Denmark in a desperate attempt to contain an outbreak.
The B.C. SPCA is now calling for a moratorium on mink farming in the province. Moratorium? The question needs to be asked, why is mink farming even a thing? And since when is it “farming”?
Mink are raised in tiny cages until they’re ready for slaughter to put on the backs of spoiled rich people who have no concept of what goes into producing the coats they’re wearing.
According to the B.C.-based Lifeforce Foundation, there are more than 1.6 million animals on 221 Canadian mink farms and 106 fox farms.
In B.C. there are 15 mink farms, three fox farms and three chinchilla farms, the animal-rights group says. Lifeforce says mink and fox raised in captivity for their fur “exhibit abnormal, neurotic behaviours such as restless pacing, mutilations and cannibalism.”
The trapping and killing of wild animals for their fur is bad enough but so-called “farming” of animals that have never felt the freedom of the way they were meant to live is particular offensive.
We humans seem to have an insatiable appetite for treating other species with appalling neglect and cruelty but, according to the SPCA, a poll in 2018 showed that 85 per cent of British Columbians oppose the practice of raising and killing mink. These creatures should be recognized not as a fashion accessory but for the sentient beings they are.
A moratorium is temporary. The ban should be permanent. It’s time these so-called “farms” are legislated out of existence.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.