fur farms, fur industry, mink, northern Canada, GDP
In many ways, the fur industry created Canada. Much of pre-Confederation history revolves around the competition between the French and British for control of the profitable fur trade. But in the late 20th century demand for fur declined, and the income of indigenous trappers has suffered severely. However, Canada is still the world’s fourth largest exporter of raw fur.
The fur industry employs less than 0.1 percent of the country’s workforce and accounts for less than 0.1 percent of the GDP and goods exported. The value of trapped and farm-raised pelts rose from C$25.6 million in 1960 and 1961 to C$147.4 million in 1986 and 1987, but declined rapidly in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1997, 2.6 million pelts of all types were harvested in Canada. Production was worth just C$69 million in 1997. Farming operations consist chiefly of mink raising, which contributes 95 percent of the annual value of pelts from fur farms, with fox accounting for virtually all the remainder. The fur farms are mainly concentrated in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and British Columbia. Trapping is carried on primarily in northern Canada; Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are the main producers of wildlife pelts.
Article key phrases: