All posts by PA Trappers

Wild Fur Suffers Setback

By Herman Jansen, Managing Director, NAFA

Russia’s continued absence has created a devastating effect on much of our wild fur. Major articles like raccoon depend on Russia in order to have respectable clearances and prices. A few years ago, China bought many of the middle and flatter sections of raccoon to use as trim on ladies boots. Today, that fashion trend is over, and we urgently need to find new takers. Both your WFSC and NAFA’s promotional department are investing time and money in putting NAFA’s wild fur, especially raccoon, back on the runways in Milan and Paris. Once it is seen as a fashion item, China and other countries will follow. We just need for this to happen soon.

It is clear to most observers that the economy in Russia, because of the Western sanctions and the drop in oil prices (which brought a 60% decline to the value of the Russian Ruble), is having a worse than expected effect on Russian buying power. To add insult to injury, the current financial crisis in Greece is taking a further toll on wild fur business. At this moment the sky looks pretty dark, but over the next six to eight weeks we hope that we will see some sunlight.  Raccoons, for example, are inexpensive and should be a perfect fit for an attractively priced fur garment.  Raw skins can still be bought in September and put into garments before the fur-selling season in Russia starts.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

In other articles, beaver continues to struggle. This tendency will likely persist until the current world economic situations are resolved. Muskrat still sees demand, with clearances at 100%, but at lower price levels. While China is the major buyer for this article, the end user continues to be Korea.

Sables continue to sell well with competition from all major fur markets. Female fishers have become very popular in China, selling 100% at strong prices, while males were met with more difficulty because of the weaker Russian market. Lynx saw mixed results, both in clearance and in price, once again due to the lack of support from Russia. Lynx Cat saw more commercial sections selling over 90%, while Western sections/better qualities sold 70%.

It is of course true that some articles are doing very well. Coyotes had another strong performance this year with high prices and terrific demand from major North American and European fashion houses. Down-filled jackets and parkas trimmed with coyote are still major fashion items. This again proves that if you are in fashion, price is secondary, and it is the young people around the world that are buying and driving the trends.

Needless to say, we are disappointed in general with the results of this season, but we are not giving up hope and are working very hard through our promotional department to turn the corner.

The market will likely remain flat in the short term. Activity normally picks up again towards the end of August. Please be assured that we will do everything we can to sell as many skins as possible in every market that has demand, and hopefully in September we can come back to you with more positive news.

Article provided courtesy of NAFA. Original article may be found here.

Furs for Miss Pennsylvania 2015

Every year, the PA Trappers Association gives Miss PA and PA teen a fur coat.  The coats were well received!  Miss Outstanding Teen couldn’t quit smiling and Miss Pennsylvania didn’t take the coat back off for about 10 minutes after the presentation.  

We received many “thank-you’s” from everyone involved,  and the PTA was mentioned as a sponsor during the ceremony. Our full page ad was featured in the program, and Miss PA 2014 had a picture in her farewell slide show of the PTA booth at the sportsmen show in Harrisburg.  Here are a few pictures from the event:








Ontario Mink Release and Industry Response

Read the initial release from the Canada Mink Breeders Association:

CMBA offers reward for capture of farm invaders

Read the response from the Fur Council of Canada:

Hello all –

For your information, following is a summary of our rapid response protocol re recent Ontario mink release:

1.       Soon after the release was discovered, CMBA exec director Gary Hazlewood and CMBA president Kirk Rankin — both of whom live nearby — were on the scene and handled local media.  The industry’s story was effectively communicated: i.e., the irresponsibility of releasing nursing females while the young kits are still completely dependent on their mother.   

2.       Because the story carries important messages, we developed a press release (attached) with the new “news hook” that Canadian mink farmers are offering a $75,000 reward for information leading to arrest/conviction of these extremists – in order to attract additional media coverage.  This release was sent to English media across Canada a few hours ago, and Global TV News has already called for more information.

3.       The press release is bring translated into French for distribution to Quebec media. Our supplementary goal here is to help “educate” French media about the true nature of animal extremists in advance of the upcoming trial of a Quebec mink farmer (the story that made headlines last Fall).  (Note that the farmer is being charged under the Criminal Code for animal cruelty for, among other things, having dirty or inadequate water bowls; compare this to separating nursing mothers from their young!)

4.       Media protocol is as follows:  Gary Hazlewood (CMBA) and Alan Herscovici (FCC/TaF) are listed as industry contacts on press release.  We will provide background and refer appropriate media to CMBA president Kirk Rankin. (Kirk, of course, is a farmer himself and lives near the targeted farm; he participated in rescuing released mink on Sunday.  Kirk is ready to allow cameras to film in his barns, if desired.)

5.       We have posted the press release on TruthAboutFur facebook page and other social media.

6.       We will be producing a blog post: “5 Things You Should Know About Mink Releases”, using this case to show how activists value ideology more than animal welfare

7.       Main speaking points:

          It is completely responsible to release nursing females at a time when their young kits are completely dependent upon them.

          How can activists claim to know or care about animals when they subject young (“baby”) mink to this suffering?

          This is a shameful attack on the livelihood of a well-run family farm; these animals were being well cared for.

          This is especially hurtful because farmers are working around the clock at this time of year to ensure that new-born mink are healthy, safe and well cared for.

          Activist counter-argument : “Farmers were only keeping these animals alive until they could make a profit from them in the Fall; at least they were able to enjoy some freedom and die in nature.”   (This is already being repeated to us by media)

          Response: These are not wild animals; they have been raised on farms for more than 100 years. (100 mink generations is the equivalent of 2,000 human years!) They are not prepared to fend for themselves. Many released animals are dying from exposure, pneumonia; the young risk starvation and hypothermia.  In any case: just because you disagree with using fur (or any other material) does not give you the right to break into a legally-run farm and destroy someone’s livelihood.

We will keep you all informed as this story develops. 


Alan Herscovici
Executive Vice-President
Fur Council of Canada