Out in the field with one of Alberta's few female trappers.
Emily the Trapper is smart, loves animals, and thinks your ideas about fur trapping are all wrong.
Lamb has always found animals beautiful. She used to spend entire afternoons sitting in the hay feeder on her family’s Sundre-area farm when she was a girl just so she could see the cows up close when they came to eat. After graduating from high school, Lamb decided she wanted to be a veterinarian or a Fish and Wildlife officer. She eventually earned a diploma in Wildlife and Forestry Conservation online, then began an internship with the Cochrane Ecological Institute.
“I was very much against trapping,” she said. Lamb didn’t feel comfortable collaborating with people whose primary mission, she presumed, was to trap and kill the same animals she worked to rescue. “I just wanted to save everything,” Lamb said. Her philosophy shifted when she met long-time trapper Bill Abercrombie
. Abercrombie hired Lamb as a permanent employee of his company, Bushman Inc
The article led me down a bit of a rabbit hole surrounding trapping and the fur trade in Canada:
Contemporary trappers see themselves as stewards of wildlife
, committed to animal welfare, who help maintain the overall health of native fauna. There are roughly 60 000 active trappers in Canada
, including 25 000 Aboriginal people. The number of licensed trappers varies from year to year and has ranged up to 80 000 since the mid-1990s. Trapping occurs in almost every country of the world. At least 3-5 million fur-bearing animals are trapped
annually in Canada, primarily for their skins (pelts), although occasionally for bait and for human, dog and wild animal food.
Trappers are expected to follow the code for responsible trapping
and comply with regulations
. Canada is a signatory
to the Agreement on Humane Trapping Standards
, which as well as providing for fur exports, mandates that fur-bearing animals must be trapped using humane methods that are proven to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. Trapping has become a contentious issue. Trapping accounts for one-third of the furs produced in Canada; the balance comes from fur farms
Canadian fur exports topped $706-million in 2012
, a 33% increase over 2011 — and more than double the value of exports in 2000. This infographic
that shows the extent of the trade and split by species. Canadian government statistics (last updated in 2010, pdf
) show that demand is rising, driven by demand in China
. The number of pelts used for an average fur coat is frankly daunting
Some of the photos on the first article may be upsetting, but are not shown unless you click the link.