The Ghosts In Our Machine

Interview with the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals

The Association For the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals
Photo courtesy of

Lorena Elke, our Research Consultant, conducted the following interview with Lesley Fox, Executive Director of the Assoc. for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

LE: On your website you state that 80% of animals killed for fur come from fur farms, yet there is a campaign that maintains “Fur is Green.” How does your organization respond to this campaign?

AA: The overwhelming majority of scientific evidence points to fur not being green. In fact, it supports the need for immediate halting of fur farm production due to the potentially devastating ecological impacts this industry represents.

As outlined in our Issues section at, the massive amount of waste produced by fur farms must go somewhere –and only a few farms are using a proper recycling method. This does not include the slop from food or urine produced. Some estimates put these levels at 563 kg of feed required to produce 1 kg of farmed mink pelts. A farm that would use 600,000 kg of feed per year would produce 240,000 kg of waste per year. Studies from notable groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation, CE Delft and the Acadia Centre for Estuarine Research have all produced similar findings: fur is not green, not matter how you spin it.

LE: Recently an undercover investigation of fur farms in Quebec revealed the atrocities of these farms, yet the province is stalling on dealing with the issue.  Is there a role the public can play in advocating for legislative change that could help to put an end to the suffering of fur-bearers in Canada?

AA: The public plays the most important role in a case like this. While we, as advocates, can continue to campaign against the government, provide studies and analysis and even economic alternatives to fur farming, it comes down to the electorate. It may not always feel like it, but we do live in a democracy. And when enough individual voices combine on an issue, the government cannot ignore it. If every single animal lover in Quebec –and across Canada– makes it publicly known that they oppose this industry and will not vote for any party that endorses it, change will happen.

LE: On their website, the company Canada Goose claims “We never purchase fur from fur farms, never use fur from endangered animals, and only purchase fur from certified Canadian trappers….” Can you comment on this statement.

AA: An animal suffering is an animal suffering. There is no great difference between an animal on a fur farm and an animal in a leg-hold trap in the wild –they are both being kept against their will, they are both suffering from inherently inhumane conditions, and they both will be killed, simply for their pelt.

Terms like certified and humane are bandied about frequently by those supporting the fur industry. Getting a trapping certificate is easier than getting a driver’s license: a weekend-long course is all it takes. Most of the other references that companies like Canada Goose use come from the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS), a trade agreement that was forced on the European Union after they tried to ban the importation of fur coming from leg-hold traps.

The fur trade is animal cruelty we can stop. It is always inherently inhumane, and always unnecessary. Learn the truth about fur at

The Association For the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals is our Featured Animal Ambassador for October 2014.


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