Just like their wild counterparts, farmed fur species are susceptible to diseases. Disease outbreaks, if they become serious enough, can end a farming business due to the loss of animals and lost sales income. Outbreaks can also jeopardize other farms in the area or even the entire country.
Farmers, including fur farmers, do a variety of things to reduce the risk of diseases.
Strategies used to reduce the chance of diseases on fur farms include proper nutrition, vaccinations (where they exist) and good hygiene practices as well as appropriate veterinary care and treatment.
In some provinces, such as Alberta, it is becoming mandatory to have “bio-security” protocols in place on all farms. By restricting visitor access and following mandatory hygiene practices for the visitors, animals, feed and equipment that enter the property, the farm is made “bio-secure” so that animals are protected from the introduction of pests and diseases.
At the national level farmed animals fall under the Health of Animals Act. This regulated Act sets disease control requirements for farm animals entering and residing in Canada, including mink and fox.
Farmed mink and foxes are also covered under the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) rules and protocols.