(We Animals/BC SPCA)

(We Animals/BC SPCA)

BC SPCA slams proposed changes to mink farm standards after 2 COVID outbreaks

Changes allow use of carbon monoxide to kill mink

The BC SPCA has slammed proposed welfare changes for minks that it said would worsen conditions for the animals on Canadian farms.

Mink farming has become a high-profile industry in recent months as two farms in the province declared COVID-19 outbreaks.

At the first farm, located in the Fraser Valley, an outbreak was declared on Dec. 6 after several workers and animals tested positive and about 200 minks died over a five-day period. On the second farm, at least 23 animals died between Dec. 19 and 23, although no workers tested positive for the virus.

READ MORE: COVID-19 has made its way to second B.C. mink farm, no workers sick

In a Tuesday (Jan. 26) news release, the BC SPCA said that changes proposed to the Code of Practice for Mink last month would remove a requirement for larger cages by 2023 and “allow the use of killing methods that cause mink distress before they die.”

“At a time when we know that distance helps reduce disease transmission, fur farms in Canada want to keep wild mink, who normally have a home range of several kilometres, in tightly packed cages as small as two pieces of paper,” said BC SPCA spokesperson Geoff Urton.

The proposed code changes would allow carbon dioxide to be used as a backup method for the killing of mink, according to the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farmed Mink. The code states that a four per cent or greater concentration of carbon monoxide causes “rapid loss of consciousness followed by death and is the preferred method of euthanasia for mink.”

According to the code, the standard for euthanasia is that it “must induce rapid loss of consciousness followed immediately by death and cause minimal distress and pain.”

READ MORE: BC SPCA calls for moratorium after minks, workers at farm contract COVID

Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this story, carbon monoxide was identified as a new method of killing mink at fur farms. Carbon monoxide is already used, carbon dioxide is being suggested as a backup method.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BCSPCASPCA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is offering home compost bins at reduced prices until March 25. (Contributed)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen offers compost bins at wholesale costs

Pricing offer at participating stores in place until March 25

Premier John Horgan looks on during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Premier touches on protest, housing controversy in Penticton

Protesters have said they plan to go on despite police warning

Penticton’s Law Courts.	(File)
Penticton beach attacker to serve two more years behind bars

Thomas Kruger-Allen was sentenced in a Penticton court on Friday

About 50 people gathered Friday, March 5, 2021 in Penticton to protest city council’s decision to close a temporary winter shelter. (Jesse Day - Western News)
WATCH: Protest over Penticton shelter draws large crowd

People are gathering in Gyro Park to protest the closure of a winter shelter

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Paramjit Bogarh, connected to the murder of his wife in Vernon 35 years ago, has been relerased on full parole, one year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory after the fact. (Contributed)
Full parole for ex-Okanagan man who helped wife’s alleged killer escape

Paramjit Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after helping brother flee Canada

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read