Misguided protestors wreak havoc in Westboro


Has anyone noticed a commotion outside the NRML store in Westboro?

You can thank the Animal Defence League(ADL)  for that commotion!

Last week I received a very disheartening letter from a shop owner on Richmond Road in Westboro, who owns a store very close to the NRML store.

In case you didn’t know what the ADL’s beef(pun intended) is with  NRML, the store happens to sell the popular Canada Goose parkas which happen to have coyote fur trim along the hood. 

The Animal Defence league is protesting NRML for carrying this product, and have even start a petition online. According to the ADL, “Animals killed for fur are trapped, skinned alive, and anally electrocuted.  They encourage the public to sign a petition to stop this cruelty.

The fact of the matter is we have a real coyote population control issue in Canada which the ADL evidently is unaware of.

Perhaps the ADL might do some ‘Googling’ to understand the difficulty conservationists have in managing this predator population, especially the Urban coyotes of  this country.

But noooo, the ADL would rather hassle innocent business owners as a way of ‘furthering their cause’ in protecting animals from the dreaded fur industry.

(Speaking of Google, perhaps the ADL might also consider researching the FUR INDUSTRY in this country while they are educating themselves on coyotes.)

The shop owners along Richmond Road have tried reasoning with these people too but to no avail.

Instead the Shop owners were verbally attacked!

They called the police repeatedly but were told that law enforcement couldn’t do anything because these protestors have a permit to demonstrate issued by the City of Ottawa, therefore they are not breaking any criminal laws.


Oh yes, and police also explained that the ADL’s right to protest – as covered in the Charter of Rights & Freedoms – supersedes any by-law or criminal law.

The group has been protesting the NRML store every Saturday & Sunday for almost 1 year, and I’m told they’ve even added bullhorns to their arsenal.

The group has also been seen writing derogatory material in chalk in front of the NRML store, and in front of other stores down the street.

How can one group of ignorant, misguided individuals systematically run small business owners into the ground based on their own twisted ‘perceived animal cruelty’?

You know why?

Because not only do we LET IT HAPPEN, by doing nothing to stop it we are essentially furthering their cause against the trapping industry, and conservation as a whole!

I feel for these business owners who are simply trying to make a living and because one of their products happens to have sustainable, ethically harvested, fur on it it’s a problem?

The real problem here in my opinion is ignorance, of which the ADL evidently wrote the book on.




77 thoughts on “Misguided protestors wreak havoc in Westboro”

    1. Trust me Iggy, I’ve been struggling with the best way to counter this!
      Even this blog article drawing attention to it tends to work in their favour.


  1. 1 Year? I can’t believe they have a permit to demonstrate for a year!? Or maybe they keep getting permits? Unreal…

    Too bad the owners can’t sue the city for allowing it to happen for this year.

    Makes me want to go buy a parka to support them!


    1. Keebler, I was wondering the same thing..perhaps we need to apply for a friendly ‘protest permit’ to protest the protesters!

      Eh Johan, maybe that’d work? They sure wouldn’t enjoy the tables being turned.


  2. Find out who they are and where they work; then protest in front of their place of employment all week long.

  3. You appear to be missing the point entirely. While I am not with ADL, I abhor the Canada Goose parkas for the fur trim and down feathers as well. However, no credible animal activist believes that coyotes are anywhere remotely endangered as you suggest. Have you done any research on this topic at all? The issue is the cruelty of the trapping and killing of the coyotes, and the horrific manner in which the feathers are gathered from maltreated birds. You wouldn’t subject the family dog or parrot to such inhumane treatment, and it is no less acceptable to do this to coyotes or geese. They are sentient beings being slaughtered and abused for a frivolous bit of fur trim and jacket stuffing that can be created in other ways that don’t involve exploiting animals.

    Incidentally, the main reason coyotes are so abundant is that we have extirpated wolves over much of their traditional range and coyotes moved in. Predators are required in healthy functioning ecosystems, and attempts to wipe the coyotes out or control them only backfires due to something called compensatory reproduction, fractured packs, extra breeding cycles.

    As I suggested earlier, why don’t you do a little more research before spouting off on a topic about which you appear to know little.

  4. Go ahead and protest the protesters, that just brings more attention to the cause, to speak out about the torture the animals who are trapped or “raised” on fur farms have to endure. And the Charter is what allows us to express our opinions in this country without fear of being arrested or killed like other countries. Just because you don’t agree with someone’s stance does not mean you get to decide whether or not they can express it. But, keep posting articles like this, because it is free publicity about the issue of animals being tortured for their fur, for a stupid coat.

  5. This is really badly written. Beyond grammar, there is absolutely no argument of substance here.
    It’s a civil right to protest. Unfortunately for you, that right isn’t only extended to people who share your point of view.

  6. You need to check your facts – they are wrong. You are doing your reporting based on one store owner, Why don’t you interview the protesters? They actually have support in the neighbourhood. I know because I live there, and do not support any store that contributes to animal abuse by selling fur. There is no excuse for this in 2015. No wonder you can only get a job through the Sun.

  7. Outdoorsguy. I have spoken to these protesters, and they are quite justified in their protest. I am also against these attempts to cull and control wildlife, rather than just letting nature take it’s course. We don’t seem to have an issue with the 7 billion humans over populating this planet, so why must we destroy another species? There is no logic to it. These fur trims come from animals who are trapped in leg holds. I’m not sure what part of that isn’t cruel, but I can bet if a child or someone’s pet dog was caught in one, all hell would break lose. The animals are caught strictly for their fur. Not ever the meat is used, which means that we are killing these animals strictly for fashion, when there are so many man made alternatives. I applaud people who go out and fight for what they believe to be right in this world. Staying silent and crying about issues gets one no where. If a store owner has a problem with the protesters, perhaps he/she should take the time to talk to the protesaters and attempt to see why they are there in the first place. It’s there right whether you like it or not.

  8. Did you just walk by one of their protests one day and just make a bunch of assumptions? This is one of the most misguided, one-sided pieces of something that would be better considered nonsense over journalism. Did you bother to talk to any of the protestors about the issues? I see no quotes here, just a bunch of random assumptions.

    I’m not even mad about the story, I’m just mad that this malarkey was published and people believe it.

    1. Jacqueline, Donald, Lorraine, Kenzie, Jason & Sandra:

      I should remind you that this is not an ‘article’ it is a Blog post, based on MY opinion as I see it..just as you have YOUR opinion on the cruelty of trapping, which you no problem sharing every Sat and Sun on the streets of Westboro. The only difference is, MY opinion is based on years of experience in the wild practicing/studying conservation with a degree in Fish & Wildlife Biology, another degree in Environmental Science, as well as dozens of published articles, columns and features on the subject of wildlife management. I have completed big-game and predator work for the MNR, was Pollution Prevention Coordinator with Environment Canada’s Enviro Protection & Conservation Branch, have authored 6 books, won 3 OWC Awards and published articles in more than a dozen NA magazines over the past 20 years.

      And your expert ‘opinions’ are based on?


    2. But by the same token Jacqueline, you expect people to believe your malarkey? How one-sided is that?


  9. “The Animal Defence league of Ottawa is protesting NRML for carrying this product, presumably because they believe the coyote to be an endgangered species.”

    The above quote from your article is stated as fact, not as your opinion. Of course it is not fact at all. Maybe next time you should actually speak with one of the protestors to get the truth rather than presenting your opinion as fact. If this is how you write I’d hate to think of all the inaccuracies in your books.

  10. “And your expert ‘opinions’ are based on?”

    I don’t know, maybe reading comprehension? You said: “The Animal Defence league of Ottawa is protesting NRML for carrying this product, presumably because they believe the coyote to be an endgangered species.”

    Presumably. That was your word.

    Don’t you think it’s wholly irresponsible to slander protesters based on what you *presume* is their opinion? Your entire blog posts is built around an argument that you imagined out of whole cloth.

    Couldn’t you have spoken to at least one of the protesters? Or maybe looked at the image you ran? It’s pretty clear the protests are about cruelty, not a fear that they coyote will go extinct.

  11. Does winning 3 OWC awards give you the power to announce someone’s guilt by presumption?

  12. First of all, this post/rant is horribly written for someone who works for a local newspaper.
    Second, you care more about the livelihoods of trendy shop owners making their living off the backs of dead animals than the animals who are killed because some rich kid can’t live without his over-priced fashion accessory? That’s messed up.

    1. Evidently you all missed the fact that my statement ‘presumably because they believe the coyote to be an endangered species’ was tongue in cheek(considering coyotes are in need of INCREASED harvest, and not the other way around) which serves to prove my point even further. Do any of you know anything about the fur industry? Before spouting off of the cruelty of it, maybe you might educated yourselves on the importance of fur management in the country.

      And you’re right..I didn’t interview anyone for this post. I don’t actually need to know anything about this particular protest, to know where you all stand with regards to trapping and the fur industry. You’ve made your views abundantly clear in just a few short comments.

      Oh, and another difference between my opinion and your opinion? Mine isn’t interfering within someone’s livelihood every Saturday and Sunday.


      1. May I ask why you are trying to divert attention away from the real issue here?

        You are all anti trapping and I am pro conservation…you can tear my little post apart all you like. Fact of the matter is..it’s a topic I know more about than you do.

        And Mike, winning OWC awards does not make me an authority on the fur industry..but having actually been a trapper myself does afford me the credibility to at least comment on the industry. Having actually visited the North Bay fur auction…and sat with the fur graders does offer me a bit more insight than most. Having studied the importance of wildlife management..does give me the right to share my opinion.

        And as stated earlier… MY opinion isn’t currently interfering with folks trying to make a living.

        So who is really being cruel here?


        1. Sandra said; “Incidentally, the main reason coyotes are so abundant is that we have extirpated wolves over much of their traditional range and coyotes moved in.”

          You may find it difficult to believe but the highly adaptable eastern coyote had out-competed and hybridized with the wolf for decades..another HUGE factor in the decline of the eastern wolf.

          Isn’t it ironic that the animal you are ‘indirectly’ trying to protect, is largely responsible for the downfall of the wolf?


  13. I shoot coyotes. They prey on farm animals and my deer. Get rid of them all in my zone and all is happy

  14. I gotta hand it to you Jeff… Posting those rabid insulting comments to your post takes gumption.
    While I really can’t argue with the animal defence people’s right to protest with civility (which is often lacking), you can still see however, as evidenced by some of the comments, that many of them are misguided.
    When you look at many other animal rights organizations, their protests and methods, it often brings to mind that they are a loose band of activists that have nothing better to do than bring notoriety to themselves.
    Quite frankly, they can all stand on their head, naked, in a pool of fake blood, or however else they want to make their statement – I’m still going to eat meat, buy leather and wear fur.
    Just keep up the good word Jeff…

    1. Well Herman, I have no real issue posting their comments..and I take no offense. In the past, as you’ve seen, these sorts of topics have often transpired into something constructive – a sensible discussion/debate over conservation vs preservation.

      Not sure that’s going to happen this time..these people can’t seem to get over the fact I ‘falsely accused’ them of protesting NRML because the eastern coyote is threatened/endangered, when they totally missed my point with that comment.

      Perhaps while they’re googling the importance of fur management..they might bone up on their Canadian History and learn something about the fur trade.


  15. “May I ask why you are trying to divert attention away from the real issue here?”

    The real issue here is you presented a false argument, and you’re trying to divert attention away from that. It’s embarrassing. Admit you made a mistake and move on.

  16. “Not sure that’s going to happen this time..these people can’t seem to get over the fact I ‘falsely accused’ them of protesting NRML because the eastern coyote is threatened/endangered, when they totally missed my point with that comment.”

    You can’t blame people for actually reading your blog post, Jeff.

    1. Mike, I’m not blaming anyone..I’m saying lets get past the ‘semantics’ of my post and talk about the real issue here; the fur industry and trapping, and how it plays a role in ADL’s protesting of NRML store(s).


  17. Wish I hadn’t read the whole thing, to be honest. It was so poorly written. Ottawa Sun really got their money’s worth out of their copyeditors, eh?

  18. The fur industry and trapping is cruel. That’s what the protester’s care about. It’s about cruelty, not ecology.

    1. There ya go Mike..now was that so hard? You finally spoke your mind instead of taking pot-shots at my post.

      Now, tell me more about said cruelty…the way you see it?


  19. WOW!! Are you being deliberately obtuse Jeff Morrison? You keep prattling on about wildlife conservation but the point that the protesters are making, and that you seem to be deliberately avoiding, is the cruelty these animals are subjected to. It is horrific that someone is profiting from the torture these animals go through, and for what? Urbanites to run around making fashion statements.

  20. “There ya go Mike..now was that so hard? You finally spoke your mind instead of taking pot-shots at my post.”

    That is so disingenuous. Look at what I wrote in my first comment:

    “Couldn’t you have spoken to at least one of the protesters? Or maybe looked at the image you ran? It’s pretty clear the protests are about cruelty, not a fear that they coyote will go extinct.”

    The reason I took “pot shots” at your post is you false presumed the protest was about ecology. You can ask the protesters yourself why they feel trapping coyotes are cruel. Until you have, you’ve committed malpractice with your post.

    1. Ok Mike, again you fail to understand this was NOT an article or a report, it was simply a blog post..commenting on a situation as I see it. I have no intention on running a hard news story on these NRML protestors..just trying to understand their reasoning for the protest is all. And trust me, I got that it is ALL about cruelty!

      And Laurie, if you believe the cornerstone to fur management is ‘Urbanites to run around making fashion statements’, then you really have no idea.

      Have any of you witnessed a fur-bearer population left un-harvested? Seen what happens to a habitat once its been foraged beyond its carrying capacity? Disease in the wild among populations with no control?

      You’ll protect the fur bearers all day long..until a fisher grabs your cat or a coyote tears your dog apart in your back yard!


  21. Apologies for the typos. I don’t have the Sun’s copyeditors cleaning up my grammar.

  22. For the record, I’m not one of the protesters. I do know some of them, and I’m annoyed that you’ve committed to completely misrepresenting them.

  23. “Ok Mike, again you fail to understand this was NOT an article or a report, it was simply a blog post.”

    Yeah Jeff. I know what a blog post is. Your words are still words. Your claims are still claims. They can still be false. They can still be irresponsible. Yours were.

  24. “just trying to understand their reasoning for the protest is all”

    You can’t understand someone’s reasoning by imaging it yourself out of whole cloth, instead of actually asking the people.

    1. Mike, I KNOW the basis of the protest is ‘cruelty of trapping’..I didn’t need to talk to anyone to realize that.

      Tell me I’m wrong?


  25. “And trust me, I got that it is ALL about cruelty!”

    You didn’t present it that way in your blog post. You said you presumed it was about extinction, or am I misreading you?

    1. Oh man Mike…those threatened/endangered coyote comments were TOTALLY 100% tongue in cheek..I cant believe everyone missed that.

      My POINT again..and I’ve explained it already in an early comment was to hammer home the fact that “THE COYOTE IS THE LAST ANIMAL IN NORTH AMERICA THAT REQUIRES PROTECTION…THEY ARE THRIVING!!

      I understand they are using the coyote fur trim on these parkas a platform to protest trapping in general, that’s pretty evident.

      And again..do I need to need interview a protestor to know that?


  26. “Mike, I KNOW the basis of the protest is ‘cruelty of trapping’..I didn’t need to talk to anyone to realize that.”

    Funny. Here’s what you wrote.

    “The Animal Defence league of Ottawa is protesting NRML for carrying this product, presumably because they believe the coyote to be an endgangered species.”

    That’s the only time you mentioned their motives. That’s what you chose to attack. And it’s false. You’ve deliberately misled people to score points.

    1. Ok Mike, you’ll be happy..I revised the post to reflect the ‘facts of the case’

      Sadly though..it only serves to makes the ADL look bad, since what they have written it TOTALLY 100% false..but alas, it does serve as great propaganda for the cause.

      They’ll probably wish I hadn’t delved deeper, it only makes them look worse.

      “skinned alive, and anally electrocuted” Give me a friggin break!


  27. That’s better. Can you issue an apology for misrepresenting them, and leave a note in the body of the post that explains how the contents have been altered, if it’s not too much trouble?

    1. Ok Mike, I apologize for editorializing on my own blog site.

      There, how’s that?


    2. Finally we’re getting to the meat of that matter…ADL’s perceived cruelty in the trapping industry.

      I really like their graphic propaganda photo, that’s a classy added touch.


  28. “Ok Mike, I apologize for editorializing on my own blog site.”

    I don’t know what you think editorializing is, but it’s not making up entirely false claims about groups of people.

  29. Even if you disagree with them, you have to admit that false attributing words to someone you don’t like is skeezy.

  30. I have attended some of these protests. I find the protesters to be very polite,law-abiding and respectful. There are occasional chants but certainly not loud enough to disrupt business as usual. Have you actually seen the protest? You are basing all of this on a letter from someone.
    Chalking in front of other stores: false
    Store owners verbally attacked: false
    “The shop owners along Richmond Road have tried reasoning with these people too but to no avail” What shop owners? Only one beside NRML. As the protest is across the street from NRML and not targeting her store I do not know how she or anyone else can claim to be losing business from one 2 hour per week protest. No – not there “every Saturday and Sunday” as you claim.
    Coyotes caught in leg hold traps and often bludgeoned to death for fur trim. Yep, I’d say that’s pretty damn cruel and unnecessary. Not to mention the numerous other animals caught that the industry considers “waste”, and the increasing number of pets killed as the traps get placed closer to urban areas. Other animals killed for fur such as foxes, live their entire miserable lives in metal cages in fur farms, and are frequently anally electrocuted to avoid damaging the fur.
    “Outdoors Guy”, you should at least get your facts straight out of respect for your readers instead of bashing people who care about animal cruelty. Basing a report on one letter is not good journalism.

  31. Great job demonstrators! Fur is dead, cruel and archaic! The demonstrators aren’t ignorant and misguided, but this author clearky us! NRML is not a local store owned by a “small business” owner! HAHAHA! The leg-hold traps used to trap coyotes are indiscrimate and trap and hurt MANY other unintended animals such as cats, dogs, raccoons. Why don’t you google those unintended lethal consequences of leg-hold traps Jeff Morrison/Outdoorsguy?And ‘perceived animal cruelty’? How is a leg-hold trap which is designed to crush the animal’s paw and hold him/her there until the trapper comes back hours to days later, not animal cruelty? The trapped coyote is stuck in that spot, severely injured and in acute pain (bones CRUSHED) without food or water for days. When the trapper returns to kill the coyote, he will beat the coyote to death (most likely blows to the head). Again, how is that “perceived animal cruelty”? Are you saying that because a coyote is not someone’s dog (they share 99% of their dna) that this is not cruelty? Ridiculous. Want the protesters to leave? Ask NRML to simply stop selling fur!

    1. Elizabeth, for someone who’s probably never step foot in the coyote woods nor has likely ever seen a leg-hold trap, you claim to know a lot about trapping?

      “The demonstrators aren’t ignorant and misguided, but this author clearky us!”

      Clearky us….HAHAHA!


  32. For someone who whines about semantics (absurdly) when someone challenges your direct statements about other people’s beliefs and actions, you’re really quick to pounce on someone over a typo.

      1. The drivel she just spewed..ie. “…a leg-hold trap which is designed to crush the animal’s paw and hold him/her there until the trapper comes back hours to days later, not animal cruelty? The trapped coyote is stuck in that spot, severely injured and in acute pain (bones CRUSHED) without food or water for days. When the trapper returns to kill.”

        ..indicates to me she knows NOTHING about modern day trapping techniques!


  33. I’d also be really careful about making more presumptions about people, given the corrections you just made.

  34. You think we need experience with trapping to be educated on it and oppose it? Maybe this kind?:

    On November 22, 2012, Rob Shura and his six-year-old dog, Pippin, were in the middle of a jointly adored routine. First, they went to get the mail from the post office, and then they headed to a popular hiking trail in Grand Bend Provincial Park, Manitoba. About 75 metres in, Pippin let out a yelp, and Rob ran towards the sound of her voice. To his horror, he found she had been caught by a Conibear trap placed within 30 feet of the trail (a completely legal act). He fought relentlessly to free her, but could not release the springs. She died in his arms after several minutes of struggle. Shura explains that after crying over Pippin’s body in the snow for nearly half an hour, he was unable to remove the trap, so he carried her to his vehicle with it still attached. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/shannon-kornelsen/fur-animal-suffering_b_2593626.html

  35. I don’t think you’re deliberately lying to people, Jeff, but I’m worried that you have a tendency to believe things that are comforting to you.

  36. con·ser·va·tion·ist
    a person who advocates or acts for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife.

    If you are a true conservationist, you would be vegan:
    “The sheer quantity of animals being raised for human consumption also poses a threat of the Earth’s biodiversity. Livestock account for about 20 percent of the total terrestrial animal biomass, and the land area they now occupy was once habitat for wildlife. In 306 of the 825 terrestrial eco-regions identified by the Worldwide Fund for Nature, livestock are identified as “a current threat”, while 23 of Conservation International’s 35 “global hotspots for biodiversity” – characterized by serious levels of habitat loss – are affected by livestock production.”

    You should understand the predator-prey relationship – hunters I know boast of too many deer, then too many coyote, using both as an excuse to whip out their guns.
    “Animals living in a healthy ecosystem are in a state of natural predation. By evolving together in the same ecosystem, both predators and prey have adapted so that they both benefit as a species from that relationship. Predator and prey species have adapted structurally and behaviorally to allow them to be healthy predators or prey animals…. Hunting by humans operates in the opposite direction. The kill ratio at a couple-hundred feet with a semi-automatic weapon and scope is virtually 100 percent. The animal, no matter how well adapted to escape natural predation (healthy, smart, alert, quick, etc.), has virtually no way to escape being killed once it is in the cross-hairs of a scope mounted on a rifle. Nature’s adaptive structures and behaviors that have evolved over millions of years are almost useless when man is the hunter.” – no, hunters believe they are the hand of God to keep animal number “in check”.

    1. vaalea, that’s a whole lot of propaganda for one comment.

      Sorry, no links allowed though.


      1. vaalea said “…hunters I know boast of too many deer, then too many coyote, using both as an excuse to whip out their guns.”</em>

        That’s funny, I’ve never heard one hunter say that in my life..and I speak to a lot of them..

        Evidently your view of hunters/trappers is that of blood-thirsty killers, when in reality it’s not the case at all. We’ve had many discussions on that topic here over the years. Hunters/conservationists I know are the most dedicated and caring individuals you’d ever meet. Animal lovers! I consider myself an animal lover..and YES…I hunt too because I love animals, difficult to understand I’m sure. I also photograph wildlife, and monitor/feed/track movement of a whitetail herd I’ve never once hunted.

        Active conservationists are the true ambassadors of our renewable fish & wildlife resources..spending more time and $$ than anyone else to ensure the sustainability of our natural resources.

        Your preservationist ‘laissez faire attitude’ does nothing to ensure the future of any species, including fur bearers.


  37. No links necessary, just google any quote to find the source and context.

    yes, one of those that feeds the deer, then complains about overpopulation and shoots them? If that’s love, who wants it?

    Since you don’t want links, then let me quote:
    When he checked again, then the fifth day since the coyote had been shot, only one pup remained alive, dehydrated and weak. Rick and his family spent the night dripping fluids down his throat. They named him Wiley.
    Asked what he thought would happen, Rick said, “I figured that at about 6 months he would be so vicious, I would either let him go, or shoot him.” Did he ever show any aggression to their old male lab, their children, or their horses – to anyone? “Never. He is such a sweet animal. I trust him absolutely with my 8 year-old daughter. He is best friends with our dog.”
    Hanestad describes himself as having a deep lineage in hunting. His uncle taught him hunting and trapping from the age of five. All his teen years he trapped, on average, setting 100 traps on a trap-line. His average take was “130 coons, 40-50 red foxes, and 15-20 coyotes per season”. He told me, “I always heard ‘the only good coyote is a dead coyote’. The coyotes would be snarling in a foothold trap, and I would beat them to death with a stick. I have killed hundreds of them. I never thought about it. I thought of it just like getting rid of weeds.”

    And now? “It makes me sick to my stomach when I think of what I did in the past.”

    Does he think other coyotes are just like Wiley? “Absolutely – they don’t do a thing to harm anybody.” Why does he think they are so hated? “Ignorance – it is just ignorance.” Does it make him rethink all of his assumptions about animals?


    Hanestad emailed me, “When the warden and the state wildlife biologist came to visit him, Wiley fell to his back and the biologist scratched his belly. The biologist stated ‘oh my god; he’s just like a dog’. That to me was worth its weight in gold because on the spot I changed his opinion of coyotes.”

    I asked him how many hard core hunters he thought would be changed by meeting Wiley. Hanestad replied “20% the first ten minutes – and 100% if they had experienced a week of what I have. How could they not be changed?” But he cautioned, “Some people choose to remain ignorant.”

    1. I just received this informed and educated message from a friend of mine who’s currently involved in the fur industry, and has followed this discussion…but would rather have his identity concealed.

      He also included a letter from Mark Downey of North Bay – CEO of Fur Harvesters, with his perspective on the fur industry, ethics etc

      This rally is not un-common and animal right activists are regularly apposing to the well-being (at least they think) of animals throughout the world, particularly coyotes due to the large growing demands of the Canada Goose parkas.

      I have personally seen animal rights videos that seem to share the same videos over and over again showing animals that were skinned alive – yes that is right skinned alive!! Do I agree with this, of course not! Where is this taking place you might ask? Not in Canada that’s for sure……from what I can see somewhere in Asia.
      I think anyone with any outdoor common sense particularly a passionate outdoorsman, who respects the animal they have harvested, will consider the well-being of any animal and would never want to see it in any state of distress.
      Coyotes will always explode in big numbers, because of the nature of the animal. They are not in any way skinned alive……anyone with a brain would know it would be quite the fight with a wild coyote to peel off its fur alive!

      Coyotes harvested in Ontario can be done with a suspended snare or foot hold. The suspended snare must have a lock. The lock on the snare is highly effective and is designed to tighten up quickly and bring the animal down very quickly. When I say quickly I am referring to seconds, not minutes. For an animal such as the coyote, a quick death is much more kind then what Mother Nature has to offer, such as death due to many diseases such as Mange…..a very prolonged death sentence, at least in my opinion.
      As for the foot hold, a rubber jaw is mandatory! People still in vision a sharp jagged jaw, that cuts or tears the animals, leaving it prone to stress and/or pain. The rubber jaw prevents this, and trapper testimonials have indicated that they have approached these traps, un aware of animals even being in them as there was no sign of stress. Foot holds must be checked on a 24 hour basis and must be dispatched immediately with a rifle.
      I personally don’t use foot holds for canines, as I trap after freeze up. I do have experience with foot holds with semi aquatic animals……they are very effective!

      In some provinces, Power snares are the only option. They come equipped with a spring, similar to the one you would find on a conibear trap. When the animal triggers it, the spring opens and the loop of the snare tightens around the animal’s neck.

      Generally Animal Right Activists are ignorant and uneducated about fur harvesting. They are sucked into the propaganda that surrounds them and base everything on emotions, but never considers seeing the other, true side of things. I live in a rural area, is it my choice? – Yes, and I interactive with coyotes here and there. Do those who live in the City or towns want over populated coyotes running around their back yards with young children playing? I would think not. These activists do not consider the circumstances as most of them live in high rise buildings, are stuck in traffic jams each and every day, yet have an incredible large foot print left behind on a daily basis, yet will debate that harvesting a renewable resource is cruel and promotes the use of petroleum based products, such as the synthetic fur on jackets. Make sense to you? I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

      Globally we have different trapping standards, more importantly the one that Canada has implemented with The Agreement on International Humane Trapping
      The fur industry is one of the oldest land based traditions in Canada and we need to preserve it, unfortunately, youth are not as active in the tradition and the elder generation is not too internet savvy, leaving animal rights activist leading the way.

      Finally, I will leave you with a very good article with respects to a snare catch gone wrong, which some activists would use to target the trappers, blow it out of proportion and say we are cruel. It pretty much sums up everything you probably are looking for including the agreement on international Humane Trapping.

      1. Mark Downey

        Back in the early 1990s I had a trap line on the northern border of Algonguin Park. One of close to 3,000 of Ontario’s Registered trap lines held by qualified professional fur harvesters that pay royalty tax on every skin sold at auction.

        There has been much debate over this Algonquin Wolf” it has been studied and probed more than any other canine on our continent.

        There is no such a beast as an Algonquin wolf, as Algonquin Park is not a vast island as say New Zealand.

        All animals are free to go in and out as no moats, fences control its border. This animal exists in huge ever increasing numbers and has become this country`s most aggressive effective predator whose numbers are ever increasing. It can feed on fruits, small rodents on through to successfully bringing down deer and moose in winter and recently has taken an interest in humans on Canada`s east coast.

        I had many encounters with this animal over the years on that particular trap line, snaring a couple of dozen a season. I recall very clearly even today an event that happened over 20 years ago on a cold winter day. I was crossing a lake with my snowmobile and as I rounded a corner I see about six or eight four legged forms scatter and run in all directions leaving one body lying in the middle of the frozen bay. As I drove near I realized that it was a large deer and it was trying to get up but her back legs were finished. I got off my machine and struck her over the head with my axe, killing her instantly. Upon closer examination I could see her nose had been torn off and her inner thighs eaten and her intestines opened up all over the ice.

        It was evident this deer had battled for some time as the story was clearly written all over the snow covered lake for hundreds of yards until she was pulled down by her nose and ham stringed by other gang members. I showed up as they were eating her alive.

        Nature is cruel as is life for that matter and this plays out each and every day. Of the hundreds I have caught over the years I can only recall a couple that did not die quickly in my snares.

        Canada leads the world in humane trapping practices and all our traps are tested and certified under the Humane Trapping Agreement AIHTS signed with Europe, U.S. and Russia. The thresholds for death on the testing of these devices is strict. Trapping is Canada`s oldest land based industry and our wild life populations are a credit to the great job we have done.

        Algonquin Parks Chief Naturalist Dan Strickland wrote in the Raven, Algonquin Park’s own publication, stating the following: “Ironically, the record suggests that the only human killing of wolves inside Algonquin Park ever to have had a significant effect on the population was done by the researchers themselves.”

        I gave up this particular trap line some years ago as they passed a law protecting this animal inside the Park as well prohibiting its harvest to all townships touching Algonquin Park borders in which my trap line did. You cannot stockpile wildlife, and I realized that if I was prohibited

        from trapping this animal it was impossible to manage my trap line. In time the beaver population would be very stressed, as is the case now.

        However, that was several years ago and the moratorium remains. However the sightings of this animal increase as do the problems associated with an increased population. As mentioned earlier, these animals don’t survive on hugs and kisses.

        A recent article in a Parry Sound paper speaks of a trapper in the Burk’s Falls area catching the animal I am discussing. Seems it was caught in a snare by the hind leg and a member of the public felt obligated to take the animal and remove it and the trapper`s property and take it to a shelter. A snare is a fast-killing humane device that works humanly 99 per cent of the time. This was a case of the 1 per cent as a hind leg catch is all but unheard of but it happened. Like a wheel flying off a car killing a child. That would likely get less press than this has.

        The fact of the matter is this animal was caught by a registered trapper. The snares were legally set as claimed in writing by the MNR. The animal was caught on his trap line in an area where its harvest was legal. It states very clearly in the Ontario Fish Wildlife Conservation Act 1998 that it is an offence to tamper with traps.

        Section 13.1 (A) Obstruction of hunting, trapping or fishing. A person shall not interfere with lawful hunting, trapping or fishing by…

        Tampering with traps, nets, bait, firearms or any other thing used for hunting, trapping or fishing.

        Other better laws exist in the Criminal Code to deal with this unfortunate issue. There is only one course of action and that is for the MNR to have the person or persons responsible for stealing the trapper`s equipment and animal charged under the Act. The OPP charge them for theft and those responsible pay the trapper for the value of the animal which was stolen from him.

        Had that animal been sold at the auction in North Bay it would have been classified as a coyote and put on the pile with the tens of thousands of others of its kind now being prepared for auction. A few hundred thousand such animals are killed every year and the population remains more than healthy.

        Let the trappers of this great nation do their jobs because if they cannot nature will certainly give something back far more disgusting, cruel and horrific by letting them go uncontrolled. Rabies, parvo, distemper, sarcoptic mange, increased predation on our deer herds, domestic livestock, your cats and dogs, maybe ourselves as Nova Scotia can attest to.

        The cruelty and horror that deer was dealt on the ice all those years ago was no accident but the freak hind leg catch of that coyote was. As my grandma used to say “…don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill”.

        These old sayings last forever because they are true. Charge the thieves that stole the trappers coyote and let him do his job. If not, I`m sure the fur sales service would help the trapper retain a

        real good lawyer and take the thieves and the MNR to court Good laws exist on the books, use them before writing new ones that are based on emotion rather than time-proven management practices

        Mark Downey North Bay

  38. And allow me to clarify, “I also photograph wildlife, and monitor/feed/track movement of a whitetail herd I’ve never once hunted.”

    Does it matter that you don’t personally kill them? You are increasing the population so that there are more for Ontario’s hunting season

    “Ontario’s deer herds are managed through a selective harvest system.
    During the gun season, opportunities to hunt antlerless (does and fawns) white-tailed deer are regulated, while buck hunting remains open. At other times, the overall number of white-tailed deer tags available to hunters will vary, depending on the carefully monitored population levels.”

    “The province’s Ministry of Natural Resources is reminding people not to feed deer or to let dogs run after them.
    “Though there may be snow and it may be cold, that does not necessarily mean that deer need extra help,” said Jolanta Kowalski, a spokesperson for the ministry.
    Wrong kinds of feed can cause digestive problems, and even if the right type of feed is used, feeding can lead to other issues, including:
    Encouraging more deer in an area that might not have the habitat to support them (leading to poor reproduction, smaller fawns and higher winter mortality rates).
    More deer-vehicle collisions as deer cross roads to get to feeders.
    Deer losing their natural fear of humans.
    Bringing natural predators, such as wolves, closer to populated areas where feeders are placed.
    Increasing the risk of disease transmission among deer and other animals.
    Increasing the metabolic rate of deer, therefore increasing the amount of food they need.
    Causing stress-related deaths in deer who become used to feeding and have it suddenly stop.”

    Oh, and let me quote you “So, what can we do to help? Here are three options (I’ve been practising option #2)

    1)Backyard feeding
    When carried out properly, supplemental deer feeding is a wonderful past-time and can be of benefit to these animals when snow depth reaches more than 1 metre. Finding the proper balance between protein and fibre for the deer’s diet can be tricky and without knowing it many backyard feeders may actually be hurting the animal’s chances of survival. If you had not started a feeding program during early season, it is probably too late to start now, as the animal’s digestive system would have needed to adapt to the supplemented diet.

    2)Improved Access and predator control
    There are other ways we can help deer during the colder months besides feeding. By creating new access trails and cutting fresh browse, we greatly increase their food availability and expand travel corridors. A network of hard-packed trails will serve as escape routes from predators. By improving access to winter habitat and cutting additional feed, we go a long way to helping these animals make it through the winter. For folks who are looking to help deer this winter, perhaps get out for a little coyote hunting in areas where it is permitted.

    …… kill the…

  39. Why arent Sports Experts or The Sporting Life or any other big retailer of Canada Goose in the area being targeted? I called NRML today and they are indeed independently owned, one location downtown and one in Westboro, owned by Ottawa locals. The ADLs first target was Expedition Shop, which was another independent business, and now NRML. Why not go after a much bigger target that presumably sells much larger volume than NRML? The Canada Goose site lists 26 shops in the area that carry Canada Goose, seems rather unfair to target only local independent businesses if you ask me, whether or not the processing of fur is ethical in their eyes.

  40. We live in cities to have a smaller carbon footprint and to leave more range back to the wild animals to whom this earth also belongs, where nature’s evolved system of checks and balances maintain a healthy ecosystem – that doesn’t make us ignorant.

    “Despite the fact that the average city dweller may not have seen a starry night’s sky for weeks, it turns out that he still manages to keep his carbon footprint smaller than that of the average person in the country. This finding by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a London-based nonprofit organization, has major implications for climate change.”

    In fact I grew up on a dairy farm, so I’m very much in touch with the kind of mentality that goes behind our continual excuses to exploit animals. I bought into it the first half of my life because that was how I was raised, and it was a daily reality for me, and no one made me understand that it did not have to be that way. Of course someone has to defend and make themselves feel better about their livelihood killing defenseless animals.

  41. To all you hunters and anti hunters mind your own business we are allowed to do what we want with in the limits of the law… we have played nice for to long, I wished we were more usa style stood up for what we believe in but we have been told to not upset the apple cart (but this year we can guys because there are hardly any apples this year) . do what I do now. if there in my way I push them out of the way no one can impede your forward motion and secondly I verbally assault them with what ever comes out of my mouth. these people don’t care about us why the @#$% should be give a muskrats ass about them

  42. The one thing I have learned over the years of hunting and trapping is that you cannot reason with animal rights groups. In fact their agenda has nothing to do with animal rights at all. These protests are nothing more than an extreme radical sport. The participants are argumentative and belligerent and are thrill seekers. The old adage that any attention is better than no attention and most of these social misfits are making up for something they life is lacking, likely because they didn’t have a father that loved them and their mother’s gave them lumpy oatmeal.

    If you do happen to get the opportunity to engage one of them in civil debate you will quickly realize that they have no idea what they’re even protesting. Their message is nothing more than regurgitated psycho babble with no factual support.

    On the other hand they are masters at marketing, the fact that we’re talking about it proves that point.

    Save your breath and effort ladies and gentlemen. These groups will go away if they don’t have an audience.

    1. Tks Trapper and Chessy for the insight. So I guess somewhere between ‘throw it right back at them’ and ‘ignore them completely’ is our right approach?

      Unfortunately as Trapper pointed out, bringing the protest issue to light initially is playing right into their hands. Oh well..always worth a try.

      Speaking of fur management Trapper, did you make out ok fur-wise this winter? I know the prices were down, but hopefully increased interest in the European and Asian markets will help.


  43. “and their mothers gave them lumpy oatmeal ”
    Good one Trapper
    What a bunch of idiots. You are right, don’t give these cultural misfits a soapbox

    1. Wasn’t familiar with this show Iggs, but sounds like a good reason to sign-up for WildTV. Also lots of good trapping sequences on Life Below Zero..my personal fav.


  44. One last thing
    Try watching Trapper Inc. on Wild TV and get a real education about trapping

  45. an opinion is one thing, the Facts are often another. These so-called Animal Right people, won’t discuss, reason, or listen. It is all a one way street with them. Canada is The Most Regulated Country in the World! Fur is biodegradable, recyclable, and sustainable. The jackets, they wore, are Petroleum based. So not in the same league as Real Fur. These Protesters are Bully’s essentially. And Hypacrits at the very least. They lie , the kill, they damage. Law Enforcement themselves seem to be Bulloed by their tactics. Can’t a tax paying, business owner, and employment provider not expect some protection? Some Rights, some form of insulation form these people? Shame on the Police! Shame on those who don’t actually look for a balanced prospective. Fur is Green!

  46. …As you pointed out the market was low Jeff, so contrary to what many of these antis believe, we limited our catch to over populated species only. The Beaver and Fisher populations on our trap line are successfully sustaining themselves at extremely healthy numbers. This in turn leads to healthy pelts and palatable meat for the table. Lucky for us the market saw an all time high 2 years ago, this provided us with sufficient income to increase our stock of humane traps which I am proud to say is all that we use. Not only because it’s the law in Ontario but because we prefer it this way.

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