Legends of the Industry

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Canada’s Fur Trade - Fact & Figures



The fur trade is part of Canada’s resource-based economy and one of Canada’s oldest and most historically significant industries. Four hundred years following its start, the commercial fur trade continues to use a plentiful Canadian resource in a sustainable and responsible manner and is an important contributor to Canada’s economy and ecology.


Canada’s fur trade contributes nearly $1 billion to the Canadian economy annually. “It is recognized that on the same area of land over a 100-year time period, the value of fur production is higher than forestry industry.”

Income Values

Canadian trappers and fur farm owners earn more than $320 million annually in pelt sales.

Government Revenues

Annual royalty and licence fees paid by fur trappers help pay for government managed wildlife and habitat conservation programs.

Market Values

Estimated North American domestic annual retail fur sales: $4 billion

International Trade Value

In 2013, fur exports contributed $467 million to Canada’s balance of trade
Exports of pelts and fur apparel exceeded $ 816million in 2013
World retail fur sales totalled $35.8 billion in 2013
Canada’s most important fur markets are U.S., China, Hong Kong , Europe (Italy, Germany, Denmark, Poland, , Greece, .


While numbers vary year-to-year, the Canadian fur trade directly employs an estimated 60,000 Canadians full and part-time. In addition is spin-off employment in the supply and services sector, including feed and equipment suppliers, veterinary and research services, by-product production, marketers, business services, transport, crafts and design sectors.

Active trappers: 50,000 (including 25,000 Aboriginal people)
Number of licensed fur farms: 289
Fur-dependent businesses: 316



Wild Fur

Trapping occurs in virtually every country in the world; the commercial trapping of furbearing animals occurs in every region in Canada.

Trapping is highly regulated by the provinces and territories and no endangered species are trapped for use in the fur industry. Canadian fur products are exported to Europe, , Asia and the USA.

More than 25 Canadian wild fur species are listed for use in the trade, the most common are: muskrat (28%), beaver (21%), marten (13%), squirrel (9%) and raccoon (5%).

Beaver garments are the single most important Canadian fur garment exported.

Many Canadian families rely on beaver, muskrat, lynx and other wild furbearing animals for food as well as income.

In addition to operating their registered private or public trap lines, professional trappers provide a valuable wildlife control service to private landowners and local municipalities across Canada.

Fur Farming

About two-thirds of furs produced in Canada (and as much as 85 percent worldwide) come from mink and fox. farms. In Canada, approximately 2.8 million mink pelts are produced by fur farms annually.

In addition to fur, farms provide valuable oil (from fat) used in several medical and cosmetic products and as leather treatments, plus bio-fuels and composted fertilizer.


Fur Industry News - Worldwide
by RB Media Group
Posted: July 28, 2016