By Richard D. North
This publication used to be initially released at the IEA's website at the day sooner than the govt invoice that sought to outlaw fur farming in Britain acquired its moment examining in the home of Commons. The invoice was once predicated at the assumption that fur farming is incorrect (it is taken into account a question of 'public morality'). despite the fact that, in line with Richard North, that assumption is defective. during this most up-to-date atmosphere e-book, Mr North debunks many of the oft-repeated misconceptions approximately fur farming.
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Additional resources for Fur and Freedom: In Defence of the Fur Trade (Studies on the Environment, 16)
One mink farmer told me that he had a neighbour who likes him to give her young mink because she brings them up as house animals. I have also heard researchers say that this is a very unlikely event, and that mink will always be unreliable in close proximity to humans. But in any case, the case of an individual mink which was specially domesticated, or tamed, does not take one very far. The mink on a farm are not handled by humans every day, and are never petted by humans. They are curious about humans, but grow impatient and even anxious if humans hang about longer than they are used to.
Mink are certainly very interested in their food: most stereotypy behaviour appears to have taken place when mink had long waits for it and they become excited before feeding time on the best regulated farms. ) This behaviour may not be deserved to have been called stereotypy at all: any domestic cat gets very excited, and paces up and down, when it senses the availability of food. Canny management of feed times has hugely contributed to reducing stereotypies (Budiansky, 1994; Wiepkema, 1994). It may be that a useful approach to mink welfare will be not the provision of more facilities of the kind which might seem obviously comfortable, but the provision of more work and more challenges in their lives.
We have every reason to suppose that mink are quite like their wild cousins and at the same time quite unlike them. Given a chance, they seem to like swimming. Does it represent a denial, then, that the vast majority of mink never have a swim? We can never ask a mink about these matters. Animals cannot tell us whether they have a definite or even a vague longing for things they do not currently have or have never had. We certainly cannot ask a mink what its perception of its unmet needs might be.