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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   111

skunk and other animals not now found in northern Canada could be improved by domestication in colder regions. Ranch-bred animals properly kept will develop as heavy pelts as wild specimens, and they can always be killed when prime.

The average price for all silver fox skins sold in Lon-

Average Prices   don, including the wild stock and ranch stock, are of Silver Fox Skins

as follows:

YEAR   AVERAGE PRICE

1905.

.............................

$146.59

1906.

.............................

166.93

1907.

.............................

157.11

1908.

.............................

168.91

1909.

.............................

244.12

1910.

.............................

414.37

1911.

.............................

290.01

The high average pi ice obtained for silver fox skins in 1910 is ac-counted for by the better market. More than one half of the skins selling for £100 or mole were from Prince Edward Island ranches.

At the present time, the average price of wild silver fox skins in London is about $200 and, for ranch foxes such as are found with the best ranchers, $1,200.

Wild silver fox are not always prime and they are frequently shot, chewed, mangled and poorly dressed, while ranched foxes are usually killed when their fur is in primest condition. The highest price ever paid at the London sales for a silver fox skin was £580. It is said that this skin was sold by a Paris firm which had bought it at a pi evious sale for £390, and that it was from a ranched fox from Prince Edward Island.

The next highest price was £540, and a half dozen have sold for £500 or more, all being from Prince Edward Island ranches. A rather remarkable sale was made in March, 1912, when a pelt from a fox that died in James Rayner's ranch at Kildare, P.E.I., on October 12, 1911, brought the highest price, £410, although the skin would not have been fully prime before December.

It is a difficult matter to obtain authentic records of sales

Prices of   of silver fox skins from Prince Edward Island; farmers, P.E.I. Skins

as a rule, do not give careful attention to correspondence

and records. Many reports are alleged to have been lost and those examined gave evidence of having been filed in an inside coat pocket for a considerable pei iod. Documentary proof of sales made in London was also difficult to obtain. Below are reproduced the sales reports of Charles Dalton and J. S. Gordon for the year 1910:


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