While the sport hunting lobby is well-organized and aggressive, they actually represent a very small and declining portion of the overall population. The truth is that angling, but especially sport hunting are no longer popular outdoor activities. According to a federal report released in 2000, The Importance of Nature to Canadians, only 3.5% of Ontarians engage in the sport of hunting but yet they are given 100% of Ontario's natural resources including our parks and conservation areas, affording wildlife zero protection. It also brings in the least amount of dollars for the Province. Outdoor activities in natural areas, such as picnicking, photography, gathering nuts and berries, climbing, sailing, camping etc. brought 2.9 billion dollars to Ontario's economy. In addition to this, wildlife viewing brought in 410 million dollars for a total economic boost of 3.3 billion dollars. Compare this to fishing and hunting activities, whose economic contribution doesn't even reach the one billion dollar mark. Since the sport hunting and fishing industry is consumptive in nature and selective in species preservation (game species preferred), it often becomes incompatible with the larger objective of maintaining ecological integrity. It can also conflict with other outdoor users and societal views on wildlife ethics.
Ontario govt. introduces a youth fur trapping program.
Fur trappers are an aging demographic, so the Ontario government approved new trapping licensing opportunities for children between 12 and 15 years old. Like cigarettes, the focus is on getting children hooked early because they are unlikely to engage in trapping as adults.
The license will permit youth to trap, possess, prepare and sell pelts commercially and use firearms (with a proper firearm permit).
It is unfortunate that this industry still has a heartbeat because regardless of the rhetoric of the fur industry, the killing of animals for luxury products is cruel because it is painful, unnecessary and wasteful.
There is nothing humane about wasting a life.
Just like the tobacco industry, the Asian market demand for fur keeps this industry on life support. And while fur has returned on some high fashion runways, designers such as Calvin Klein, Abercrombie & Fitch and Tommy Hilfiger refuse to sell real fur.
As reported in a recent article in the Toronto Star, the animals fetching top dollar at the June North American Fur Auction in Toronto were 300,000 muskrat. The biggest seller is raccoon, and the Fur Auction will have sold about one million raccoon pelts this year.
Top coyote pelts at the June fur auction in North Bay fetched $100, top beaver fur sold for $66, while “average” quality beaver sold for about $27.
Imagine how many animals needed to be killed for one trapper to make enough money to live.
And if people are trapping as a hobby, imagine how many animals are needlessly killed so someone can feel fulfilled and ‘having a sense of purpose’.
Toronto Star article:
Fur Trapping taps into rising demand – September 1, 2013 http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/09/01/fur_trapping_taps_into_rising_demand.html