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The Brown Bear in Canada

Published 10/15/10
By Barry Kent MacKay, senior program associate

The brown bear is almost always called the “grizzly” bear in both Canada and the United States, although one race, found on Kodiak and nearby islands in Alaska, often is popularly known as the “Kodiak bear.”

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Fur Council of Canada Misinformation (cont.)

Question 1: 'What do you mean by saying fur is green?'

Published 10/15/10

The answer begins, "We want people to know that fur is an excellent choice if you care about nature — because fur is a natural, renewable resource.”

Those animals who die in traps are not able to renew themselves, but the concept that furs are “renewable” comes from the idea that animals produce more young than are mathematically necessary to maintain their population. Therefore, the theory goes, as long as trapping stays within the “surplus” number it is “renewable.” That is, the population size will stay stable, with the individuals not trapped producing enough young to replace those who are.

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Fur Council of Canada Misinformation (cont.)

Question 2: 'How can the use of animal (sic) to make a luxury product ever be ethical?'

Published 10/15/10

In the first few sentences of the reply, the FCC evokes what is loosely referred to as “the Bambi Syndrome,” the idea, most certainly not entirely without merit, that many people base their views on fictional and emotionally appealing stories that imbue animals with absurdly anthropomorphic characteristics and badly misrepresent their lives. It states: “Most of us grew up with wonderful stories of Mama Bear and Baby Bear and we all love Bambi. But Nature is not Disneyland.” 6

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Fur Council of Canada Misinformation (cont.)

Question 3: 'How can I be sure the Canadian fur industry practices humane standards?'

Published 10/15/10

The question obviously has no real bearing on whether or not fur is “green,” but the fur industry knows that by far the greatest concern of potential buyers of furs is that they derive from animal abuse. It cannot avoid addressing the issue.

The answer to Question 3 begins, “Trapping in Canada is strictly regulated by the provincial and territorial wildlife departments.”

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Fur Council of Canada Misinformation (cont.)

Question 4: 'Are those videos going around for real?'

Published 10/15/10

The answer is: “Unfortunately there are many documented incidents of activists’ groups ‘staging’ horrible videos to fuel their fund-raising drives, and links to http://www.furcommission.com/news/newsC7.htm, a website devoted to exposing such chicanery.”

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Fur Council of Canada Misinformation (cont.)

Question 5: 'Are coats in Canada made from dog and cat fur?'

Published 10/15/10

The answer begins, “Animal activists often make this claim to discredit the fur trade — but they have yet to find a single dog or cat fur garment in Canada.”

No they do not — not often, if at all — make such a claim, and since the FCC gives no example, we have to wonder what its evidence is for this contention.

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Fur Council of Canada Misinformation (conclusion)

Question 6: 'Who are the animal activist groups and what do they really want?'

Published 10/15/10

If this question is literally one that has been asked of the FCC (it would make more sense to ask the “animal activist groups” in question) it seems hopelessly absurd, and we suspect it has been made up in order to allow the FCC to proselytize, having ended any further attempt to suggest that fur is “green.”

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Fur Council of Canada Misinformation (footnotes)

Published 10/15/10

1 There is a caveat to this assertion. Many people actively opposed to the abuse of animals are also involved in working toward the rights of various groups of people, and may see the fur industry’s huge reliance on models who are attractive young women, often in provocative poses, as promoting inherently sexist societal values.

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