Conservation and Trapping Science

Fur Trapping
Jun 4, 2021 08:52 ET
Original: Fur Trapping
From, some fun facts on conservation, wild-fur, furbearing animals, and why harvesting wild animals (for food and clothing) at the right times in the right places allows for sustainability and a truly progressive future.


We want people to know that fur is an excellent choice if you care about nature — because fur is a natural, renewable resource. The Canadian fur trade is very well regulated to ensure animal welfare. The furs we use are abundant; never from endangered species. And fur apparel is remarkably long wearing. This is more eco-logical than today’s disturbing trend to “cheap”, disposable fashion – like the tons of unwanted materials (80% non-biodegradable synthetics) that ends up in landfills. Those who think that synthetics can replace fur should also know that most synthetics are made from petroleum – a non-renewable resource – and their production and disposal can pose environmental problems

Sensationalist and misleading “animal rights” campaigns have created confusion about the true ecological role of the fur trade. It is time to present another side of the fur story.

Most of us grew up with wonderful stories of Mama Bear and Baby Bear and we all love Bambi. But Nature is not Disneyland. To ensure the survival of species, most animals produce more young than Nature can support to maturity. These young animals will die of hunger and disease or will be killed by other animals. We can use part of this surplus without reducing wildlife populations. This is called “sustainable use”, a principle now recognized and promoted by all serious conservation organizations. The fur trade (and other wildlife use) also provides a financial incentive to protect the natural habitat of animals. And, even if there were no market for furs, trapping would still be needed in many regions to control the spread of disease (like rabies), to protect property, and to help maintain a balance with available habitat. Trappers are practicing environmentalists in a very real sense

Fur farms are also environmentally sound: fur animals recycle leftovers from our own food production system (animal parts that we don’t eat, poorer quality dairy products or cereals, etc) to produce valuable products: furs, oils (to protect leather), and natural fertilizers (from composted bedding straw, manure and carcasses).

While fur apparel is relatively expensive (because of the work involved in producing it), we have to remember that most of the 70,000 Canadians in the trade are not wealthy: they are aboriginal and non-aboriginal trappers living in some of the most remote parts of our country; they are people living and working on family farms; they are artisans maintaining wonderful craft skills that have been passed on for generations.

For many trappers and aboriginal communities living far from urban centers, beaver and other wild animals are part of their everyday diet. Whatever they don’t eat is returned to the forest to feed other wildlife. Nothing is wasted.