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FUR-FARMING IN CANADA   125

In conclusion your committee would again urge upon this Association such action by resolution as will give emphasis to our desire that State legislatures should so modify their laws as to per mit the marketing, under needed regulations, of venison or live deer reared in pre-serves stocked and maintained at private expense.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE AMERICAN BREEDERS'
ASSOCIATION ON BREEDING FUR-BEARING ANIMALS*

WHAT HAS BEEN DONE

 

The possibility of breeding many species for their fur has not been overlooked and spasmodic efforts along this line have been made in various parts of the country for generations. Almost every fur-bear ing species has been the subject of experimentation. Fox and skunk farming has attr acted most attention, but mink, marten, otter, beaver, and muskrat have come in for a fair share. The field has proved most alluring, as with pencil and paper any sanguine person can in a few minutes figure out a large fortune in fur at the market price and well known normal rate of increase of a given species of mammal. Again and again it has taken years of wor k and the expenditure of thousands of dollars to prove that important factors have been omitted in the computations. One well-organized company in Pennsylvania sank $25,000 in three years, only to prove that skunks would eat their young when in close confinement. Skunk farming, however, has, in some cases, proved a partial success, but "Why raise one-dollar skunks in-stead of thirty-dollar mar ten?' ' is a question asked by Mr. E. T. Seton, a member of the present committee.

The nearest approach to success in fur culture has been on the native range of species, where, owing to favourable conditions, protection could be afforded and the animals allowed to multiply until a profitable yield of fur was secured. This method has been especially applied to blue foxes, beavers, and muskrats, and with considerable success. It merits every possible encouragement; but in most cases there has been little attempt at domestication and nothing gained by way of permanent control of breeds of valuable fur bearers. In fact there seems to have been no systematic attempt to develop a domestic breed of fur-bearing animals. Most of the experiments have been in

"Annual Report, 1898. The objects of this committee are; To investigate and report on possibilities, methods and technique of breeding fur animals; and to en-courage experiments in the production and breeding of fur animals.


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