At harvest time foxes and mink are euthanized on the farm using approved methods – electric current for foxes and carbon monoxide gas for mink– to provide a quick and humane death.
The skin is removed (pelting) and the fat layer is scraped off (fleshing). The skin is further cleaned by drumming in sawdust and then stretched onto a board for drying. Pelting and pelt processing is commonly done today in custom pelting facilities.
The dried raw skins (pelts) are shipped to an auction house where they are sorted and graded for size, quality and colour. Pelts with similar characteristics are bundled together into “lots” and are sold at auctions attended by hundreds of international buyers who bid on the pelts.
Pelt prices change from year to year. Pelt price is determined based on size, quality, colour and on the supply and demand of furs which varies from year to year. Foxes, being a longer haired fur, are more subject to market fluctuations than mink due to changes in fashion trends.