A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has denied a request by mink farmers to suspend a prohibition on breeding minks while their legal challenge against this Canadian province’s ban on mink farming proceeds. In November 2021 the Agriculture Ministry announced that live mink would not be permitted on farms by April 2023 and the industry would be phased out by 2025 — because of Covid concerns. But the Canadian Mink Breeders Association and B.C. Mink Producers Association filed a judicial review in response. They requested to be allowed to continue to breed minks while the legal case is still open, but Justice Carol J. Ross denied this petition on 8th April 2022.
In her decision, Justice Ross said the following: “I agree with the respondents that the pandemic requires proactive and speedy action by the government and that sometimes this will entail significant economic consequences. There is a risk of the evolution of a new variant of concern leading to a new wave of COVID-19 which could be a potentially catastrophic outcome.”
The Agriculture Ministry said the following in an emailed statement to CBS news about the ban: “The decision followed consultations, meetings and discussion with public health officials, animal health experts and mink producers about managing the threat of the virus… we continue to reach out and work with mink farmers and employees to help them pursue other farming, business or job opportunities that support their families.”
In 2018, over 260,000 minks were killed for fur in B.C. As of 2021, there were 9 mink farms and one chinchilla farm in B.C., almost all of which were in the Fraser Valley. If the mink farming industry somehow manages to overturn the ban, it would be very difficult for them to resume business if no minks had been born this year in their facilities. Perhaps they finally realise that the fur industry must go.