March 13, 2015 8:46 pm
Updated: March 13, 2015 9:14 pm

Animal rights group files complaint against Canada Goose

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WATCH ABOVE: An animal rights group has filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau against Canada Goose. At issue is how coyotes used for fur trim on the coats are caught. Christina Stevens reports.

TORONTO – An animal rights group has lodged a complaint against Canada Goose with the Competition Bureau of Canada.

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Animal Justice is challenging marketing claims by the clothing company that the coyotes used in its fur trim have been treated “humanely.”

READ MORE: Animal groups sound alarm over leg traps after wounded dog brought in

The group alleges some of the methods used to catch coyotes, like leg hold and kill traps, are cruel.

“Sometimes it will try to chew off its own leg due to the pain and fear,” said Camille Labchuk, the director of legal advocacy for Animal Justice.

Canada Goose buys its fur from a clearing house and pelts come from across Canada, including jurisdictions where traps can be left for up to five days before being checked.

“In that time the animal could suffer from extreme exposure,” said Labchuk.

Canada Goose refused to talk to Global News, sending a statement instead.

“Canada Goose is deeply committed to the preservation of our global environment and the humane treatment of animals. We never purchase fur from fur farms, never use fur from endangered animals, and only purchase fur from certified Canadian trappers.”

“The trapping of fur-bearing animals is strictly regulated by the provincial and territorial wildlife departments in Canada. In fact, Canada is the world leader in humane trapping methods, providing the scientific basis for the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS), which establishes the required standards for approval and certification of animal trapping devices.”

The statement was an exact copy of portions of their website.

Animal Justice claimed standards are so low in Canada that it’s okay for as many 20 per cent of animals caught in either leg hold, or kill traps, to show extreme signs of poor welfare, including broken bones.

However, the Canadian fur industry insisted the traps are humane and that they have strict standards.

“These animals have been taken legally, around the rules set by the provinces and territories,” said Pierre Canac-Marquie, a trap research coordinator for the Canadian Trap Research Program.

He said in reality, very few animals suffer. They have found traps work properly in about 95 per cent of cases, well above the 80 per cent minimum. As well, most are checked daily.

Consumers are varied in their responses. Some didn’t know what their coat was made of while others didn’t care.

“If I knew that, I probably wouldn’t have bought a Canada Goose jacket,” said Michael, who did not want to provide his last name.

“Honestly, I don’t care,” said another man wearing one of the coats.

The Competition Bureau has to do an investigation to determine if any of the claims made by Canada Goose are, in fact, misleading.

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