Bright blue and green posters popped up in cities across B.C. Thursday (June 3) calling on the minister of agriculture to ban fur farms.
The posters, depicting B.C. Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham, were put up by Ban Fur Farms BC (BFFBC) and came with messages like “Why haven’t you banned fur farms, Lana Popham?” and “There have been several COVID-19 outbreaks at Fraser Valley fur farms.”
One poster has a quote printed on it claiming to have come from Popham, but a media relations person with the Ministry of Agriculture said it is a false statement.
The poster pop-up campaign comes after three COVID-19 outbreaks were declared at mink farms in the Fraser Valley – two in December 2020 and the most recent in May 2021.
From Chilliwack, Langley and Vancouver, all the way to Victoria and Saanich (Popham’s hometown), the overall messaging on the posters is calling for Popham to implement a provincial ban on fur farming, BFFBC said in a press release.
“The group has called attention to the truths of the fur farm industry: capacity for environmental destruction, inherent inhumanity, and posing a serious public health risk,” BFFBC said.
Other groups and individuals have also voiced their concerns about fur farming, including David Suzuki, the BC SPCA, Pamela Anderson and more recently the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.
Over the past year, outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred on fur farms globally, with many nations taking decisive action to end fur farming in their jurisdictions.
“Throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic, B.C. Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham has not publicly acknowledged the community health risk concerns regarding fur farms in B.C., even despite continuous outbreaks at fur farms in our province,” BFFBC said.
The provincial government gave the industry a green light to begin the breeding season, even though some farms are still under quarantine.
“Lana Popham’s lack of acknowledgement is a dismissal of her constituents’ valid concerns and her lack of action to stop the spread of COVID-19 is governmentally inappropriate. In the wake of yet another outbreak of COVID-19 on a B.C. fur farm, we are begging the provincial government to take appropriate action,” BFFBC said. “The time is now to protect the public and prevent future outbreaks, anything less than a fur farm ban is not acceptable.”