Rabbit fur, tumara fur, and tumaran sand processing are all on the Alberta’s endangered species lists, which are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
In the case of the rabbit fur processing plant in Wadena, Que., it is on the Red List for the first time since 2006.
That year, the city ordered the closure of the processing plant for the last three years to protect the local rabbit population from habitat loss and to make way for the construction of a processing plant.
The plant has been a major source of revenue for Wadena since 2005, but the city of Wadena says it now has to turn away hundreds of animals a year to feed the city’s animal shelter.
Wadena Mayor John Ouellette says he has spoken to Alberta Environment Minister Mike Bernier and the Alberta government to ask them to reopen the processing facility.
Bernier said the Alberta Environment Act has been updated to ensure that there is a way to continue to process and trade fur in Wasesa.
He said that process should be done in a manner that does not adversely affect the environment or the rabbit population.
“We need to make sure that we are not making people go to places that are not safe for rabbits,” he said.
The Alberta government has also been asked to investigate the case, Bernier said.