Canada Goose coats have taken over Toronto winter fashion, and the popularity of fur trim collars has erupted as a result.
These collars tend to be made of coyote fur, and Canada Goose continues to be the number-one purchaser of coyote fur for their collars.
Adrian Nelson from the advocacy group Furbear Defenders said that coyotes can be shot and hunted, but for the fur trade they are not. He said the coyotes are trapped in a leg hold trap or possibly a snare.
He said that the animals are snared by their paws, it could be upwards to a couple of days before they are killed.
“The trap itself breaks bones,” said Nelson. “The animal struggles in the trap which causes injuries. If you leave a wild animal out there for days on end, it will fight for its life. The animal can chew off its paw to try and survive.”
The Canada Goose website states the company is committed to “the humane treatment of animals.”
Ontario Fur Managers Federation (OFMF) licenses and regulates the fur trapping industry in the province. There are currently 8,000 fur trappers in the province and southwestern Ontario traps the most wildlife out of any region in Canada.
“In Southern Ontario, there is no closed hunting season for coyotes,” said OFMF manager Robin Horwath.
Humber College students wearing Canada Goose jackets didn’t know they were wearing real fur or that it was coyote fur.
“I like it without the fur,” said Electrical Engineering student Jay Kim, 22. “It is getting thinner every year and it is unnecessary,”
Humber Tourism student Xiao Gao, 20, said he was surprised to find out he was wearing real fur.
“Before I bought it, I didn’t expect it to be real fur,” he said. “The fur isn’t very functional.”
Humber College tourism management student Anita Zhag, 18, said she asked questions before she purchased her $350 TNA jacket, $500 cheaper than Canada Goose.
Zhag said she purposely avoided Canada Goose because it uses real fur.
“I don’t wish it was real fur. I don’t want it to be real fur because I feel like I would be wearing a dead animal body around my head,” she said.
Nelson said that labeling fur products is not required. “It is how the industry is duping people into wearing fur,” he said. “It isn’t classified as a textile, which leads people to buy a coat and not realize it is real fur.”
Nelson emphasized that access to labeling information on real fur products is the first step to educating consumers to buy responsibly and ethically.