TORONTO – Luxury jacket company Canada Goose today announced that it would begin to stop using new fur on its coyote fur-trimmed parkas starting in 2022. Instead, the company says it will implement a consumer buy-back program for fur, and use this “reclaimed” fur instead.
National animal law advocacy organization Animal Justice is calling the move a stunning reversal, and it is the result of shifting public attitudes and years of anti-fur advocacy targeting the company. According to a November 2019 Research Co. poll, 75% of Canadians oppose killing animals for their fur. The entire state of California recently banned sales of new fur, as have the cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco. The city of New York is also considering a ban.
Canada Goose parkas have become synonymous with animal cruelty due to the brutal trapping methods used to kill coyotes whose fur lines parka hoods, and the suffering of geese whose down is used to stuff the parkas.
“For years, Canada Goose has tried to dupe the public into buying its luxury apparel, claiming that brutally killing coyotes with leg-hold traps and snares is humane and ethical,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “But today’s move is proof that people no longer want to fund this type of cruelty.”
“This is a partial victory—it would be better for the company to abandon fur and down altogether. Although eventually no additional coyotes will meet a horrific death at the hands of Canada Goose, using fur at all is still misguided and dangerous. It promotes the idea that fur is fashionable and socially acceptable, causing more animals to suffer and die at the hands of the fur industry.”
The move also fails to help ducks and geese whose are killed so their feathers can be used as down, even though animal-free insulating materials like Primaloft are warmer and not as environmentally damaging as feathers.
Animal Justice filed the first-ever false advertising complaint against Canada Goose with the federal Competition Bureau in 2015. The agency investigated whether the company engaged in humanewashing, deceiving the public by falsely claiming coyotes were trapped “humanely” and that fur use was “ethical and responsible”. The US Federal Trade Commission later investigated similar false claims, and Canada Goose removed some of them from its website.
Trapping and snaring coyotes and other animals is inherently inhumane, and poorly regulated. Approved traps can still legally cause serious injuries like severe bleeding, fractures, organ damage, or spinal cord injury in up to 20% of animals trapped. Under Canadian law, animals can suffer for days at a time in a leg-hold trap, leaving them vulnerable to hunger, thirst, and predation before the trapper returns to shoot, club, or choke the animal to death. Snares slowly strangle an animal to death over the course of several minutes, and are considered incredibly inhumane by veterinary and animal welfare organizations.