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The Fur Trade Today - 02/29/04

Published 02/29/04

The recent fur auctions in Copenhagen were good news for the fur factory farmers who sold their wares. The average selling price amounted to $37.20, a significant increase over the prices realized in recent auctions. Since fur farmers generally spend around $30.00 to breed, raise, feed, kill and skin a mink, this amount will give them a profit for their labor.

The Fur Council of Canada recently sponsored a survey in Quebec and Ontario on men and fur. According to the results, 8% of Quebec’s men and 10% of Ontario’s men own furs. In both Canada and the U.S., most of the men buying furs are in urban areas due to exposure given to men’s furs by rap stars and athletes.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 02/16/04

Jim Viergets’ dog Booper died of strangulation after being caught in a snare set near Spearfish, SD. Because of this, Viergets will ask the state Game, Fish & Parks Department to require trappers to place warning signs near areas where they place traps.

Phil and Laurie Christian, who live just across the fence from the game production area where Blooper was killed suspect that their 6-year-old Great Pyrenees-Shepherd cross was also killed in a trap or snare. A few years ago one of Laurie Christian’s neighbors saved their dog from a snare set in the same area.

Snares are a persistent problem in the area because they catch deer and pets, said Game, Fish & Parks Department regional law enforcement specialist Bruce Nachtigall of Rapid City. “This is ongoing. Every year, we seem to have some of these issues.”

Viergets has since heard from more than 50 people, some of whom have lost pets to snares and others who volunteered to help restrict their use, including Republican state Rep. Stan Adelstein of Rapid City, who said he plans to take the issue of requiring signs on trapping areas to GF&P officials.

Source: Rapid City Journal (SD), 02/18/04

West Virginia trapper Tom Staley comes clean in an article about snaring minks. Mr. Staley says “My experience suggests only 20% of the ones I’ve snared to date were dead, despite 80% neck catches.”

Source: American Trapper, Jan/Feb 2004

Health officials in Florida will be distributing rabies vaccines to hopefully eliminate the disease in raccoons. Over the course of two weeks, low-flying planes and helicopters will be dropping over one half-million fish meal-coated baits over more than a 2,400-square-mile area in a program funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In urban areas and near schools, the baits will be dispensed by hand from trucks. In some neighborhoods, mosquito control helicopters will drop the baits from about 500 feet. In rural areas, small twin-engine planes will be used. [If trapping halted the spread of disease, these programs would not be needed — JM]

Source: St. Petersburg Times, 02/20/04

After a virtual repeal of Washington State’s voter-approved ban on most animal trapping was vetoed by Governor Locke last year, lawmakers are unlikely to pass changes to the trapping law this year. The Republican-led Senate passed a measure similar to last year’s, but Democratic leaders in the House say it doesn’t have much of a chance.

Source: www.kgw.com, 02/21/04

You know the trapping regulations are bad when trappers start speaking out against them. Lisa DeBruyckere, a self described “avid outdoorswoman” who hunts and traps for recreation, railed against the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission for enacting a recent policy that allows trappers to go for up to 76 hours without checking traps for predatory animals, and up to every seven days if trapping is initiated for livestock damage control purposes.

Ms. DeBruyckere believes that this “may well deal the final death blow for trapping in Oregon.” Ms. DeBruyckere continues: “Refusing to adopt responsible trapping regulations sends two strong messages: Any predator found killing livestock deserves a more severe and unpleasant death than one that is caught during a legal trapping season; and trappers, legislators and conservationists do not care about the health or welfare of wildlife.” Strong words indeed from a member of the Oregon trapping community.

Source: The Oregonian, 02/23/04

Nearly every show during NYC’s Fashion Week featured mink, fox or sable fur in some form. Designers such as Tracy Reese and Patrick Robinson showed fake furs that could have passed for the real thing.

Source: Houston Chronicle, 02/24/04

Opponents of Massachusetts’ trapping ban are pushing bills to make it easier to trap beavers. Rep. Mark Carron has filed a bill that would repeal the state’s ban on leg-hold traps outright. The state banned the use of steel-jawed leghold traps in 1975. Another bill would continue to outlaw the leghold traps, but allow trappers to use another banned trap.

Rep. William Greene, co-chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources and Agriculture, said it is unlikely that his committee will support a full repeal of the 1996 law. “We’re not going to just repeal that vote of 64 percent of the people,” Greene said.

In 1996 voters approved a statewide initiative that banned padded leghold traps and almost every other trapping device, with the exception of box or cage traps.

Source: Sentinel & Enterprise Online (MA), 02/24/04

Part-time government trapper Phillip A. Taylor of Utah is being investigated for allegedly trapping and killing a golden eagle last October.

Taylor has not been charged with any crime, but the case has been presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for possible violations of both the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Acts and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The investigation began after eight teenagers saw a trapped golden eagle during a hike last fall. One of the teens saw a carcass of an animal in a trap and a big golden eagle stuck in a length of chain. The eagle would try to take off, hit the end of the length of the chain and fall.

Source: Salt Lake Tribune, 02/26/04

A recent article posed to canada.com describes why fur is intentionally made to look like anything but an animal. “Now nobody talks about pelts. That’s because pelts remind us of the animal. Blackglama, very pelty, is declasse.” Also “Within the past five years, new techniques have been developed so that mink and other furs are sheared, plucked or knitted to resemble velvet, feathers or wool. Sometimes they cut the fur in grooves so the coat or jacket has professorial corduroy chic. And the furs are dyed to match the colors of meadow flowers. They can and will do anything to fur, just so it doesn’t remind us of the cute little critter it came from.”

Source: www.canada.com, 02/21/04

The Alaska Board of Game will consider nearly 300 proposals to amend the game code to change, create or eliminate hunting and trapping regulations. Among these proposals are some that would legalize shooting bear cubs that are still with their mothers and black bear trapping.

Proposal No. 184 would “expand muskrat trapping season in Unit 21 and allow open water trapping.”

Source: News-Miner (Fairbanks, AK), 02/26/04 & 02/27/04

The Green Party has attempted to bring forward legislation to ban fur farming in Ireland, to bring the country in line with Northern Ireland and Britain on this issue. There are currently six mink farms and at least two fox farms operating in the Republic, and according to Angela McCarthy of the Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, fox farming does not require a license.

Source: Irish Examiner, 02/26/04

After what the North American Fur Auctions has called the best sale in years in Toronto, factory-farmers took home at least $10 more per skin — a figure which reflects a profit for the first time in years. Because of the higher prices, the new breeding season could see ranchers increasing the number of females to be bred by between 5% and 10%. Last year the number of breeding females declined by 4%.

A survey by the IFTF revealed that retail sales around the globe increased to $11.3 billion in 2003, reflecting a 4% increase. Included in this figure are sales of all-fur and fur-trimmed garments and accessories. The survey touched on twenty-nine countries.

Source: Sandy Parker Reports, 03/01/04

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