Page 17 - RealDirtENG2017newJAN
P. 17
The fur trade has been part of Canada
and its people since the beginning,
having existed long before Canada was considered an independent country. Today, almost three million fur pelts are produced annually in this country, two million of those on farms. The most common animal raised in Canada for fur is mink; other farmed furs include fox and chinchilla. Other primary Canadian wild furs include muskrat, beaver, raccoon, coyote, and marten. Russia and Asian countries, speci cally China, make up the primary export markets for Canadian fur.21
Tipping the scales
What about fur farming?
Farmers care for fur-bearing animals as they do other livestock. Just like any other farmed animal, there are both regulations and recommendations for raising them, including a recently updated Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farmed Mink (and Farmed Fox).
Sustainability is also a big part of fur farming. Fur animals like mink eat leftovers from human food production – such as eggs, cheese,  sh, and chicken – while used bedding (e.g. straw and wood shavings), and even the animal remains themselves, are composted and recycled as a natural fertilizer, or used in the production of biodiesel.
Pro le
Catherine Moores
Catherine Moores never thought she’d end up running a mink farm in Newfoundland. In fact, she wasn’t even supportive of animal agriculture when growing up. However, as part of her university studies she was required to work with livestock farmers – and that changed her perspective. Catherine says she realized that farmers have an appreciation for, and actually enjoy working with animals.
A few years later, she helped a  sh processing company start a 10,000 breeder mink farm to make use of the high-quality  sh by-products readily available from processing. Today she manages many aspects of the mink farm – including production planning and scheduling, sourcing ingredients for feed, planning diets, and mink breeding.
Catherine is an active board member of the Canada Mink Breeders Association. She is very passionate about promoting and educating the public – especially school-age children – about mink farming. She has also been involved in developing the national animal welfare standards, and certi cation program, for farmed mink.
“It’s not just about feeding animals – the diversity in this job is incredible,” she says. “Very few businesses can take you from the farm to the auction house, then to the fashion runway”.
Curious about an animal’s size? Here are the approximate weights of the average full-grown male (females weigh a bit less) for some common animal species:
Horses have a special stomach that allows them to thrive on a diet of grasses, hay, oats, corn, or barley. If they must, they can also exist on drier plants, such as scrub brush and trees. Most horses in Canada are used for recreational purposes, but there are still many working horses on ranches that play a valuable role in helping to move and manage livestock.
Courtesy of FFC Saskatchewan
The Real Dirt on Farming 17
Catherine Moores

   15   16   17   18   19