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114   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

A discount of 21 per cent. off these prices is given and the selling commission of 6 per cent. and the carriage and insurance charges bring the total cost of marketing furs in London up to about 9 per cent. of the selling price.

Statistics for 1908 and 1909 are wholly lacking, the records being reported lost. Satisfactory proof was furnished that the following sales were made, although possibly not more than one-half the total quantity of skins sold in the period 1905-1912 are represented:

SALES OF P. E. I. SILVER FOX SKINS, 1905-1912

Year

No. of Skins

Total Value

Average Value

1905

11

$ 5,937.33

$   539.76

1906

8

9,733.33

1,216.67

1907

28

22,892.80

817.60

1910

27

36,748.20

1,361.05

1911

10

10,852.67

1,085.27

1912

1

1,995.33

1,995.33

Total

85

$88,159.66

 

The average for the last seven years would probably be slightly lower if reports of all sales were available. On the other hand, the price has advanced since 1905, most noticeably so in 1910 and in 1912.

On account of the demand for breeding animals, but few skins have been sold since 1910.

No ranches other than those on Prince Edward Island have furnished proof of the prices obtained for skins produced by them. T. L. Burrowman of Wyoming, Ont., offered no documentary proof of his sales. The highest price he claimed to have received for a silver fox skin was $1,050 and he admitted that the skin came from the vicinity of Labrador and hence belonged to the sub-species V. bangsi. Mr. Johan Beetz, of the North shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, sold his breeders at a much lower price than the Prince Edward Island ranchers. Messrs. Holt, Renfrew & Co., of Quebec, are holding all their best stock and selling only some inferior specimens to brokers or traders. They have made no test of the business as a fur-raising proposition and have not invested capital as freely as such intelligent and enterprising furriers would be expected to do if they thought they could rear the silver fox profitably. The other experiments in Alaska, Yukon and elsewhere are too recent to produce results.


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