Annual Fur Farm Survey - Mink and Fox

Detailed information for 2020





Record number:


The purpose of this survey is to produce annual estimates of fur farm pelts produced in Canada.

Data release - October 28, 2021


This survey collects data from fur farms to prepare provincial estimates of inventories, peltings and values. The data are used by producer groups, provincial and industry fur analysts, as well as by other government departments and agencies. This information is used to determine the production and value of pelts from mink and fox farms and to calculate industry trends.

Reference period: Calendar year

Collection period: March to June


  • Agriculture and food (formerly Agriculture)
  • Livestock and aquaculture

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population is all mink and fox ranchers in Canada that meet Statistics Canada's definition of a farm. A farm is defined as an operation that produces at least one agricultural product and will report revenue and/or expenses for that agricultural production to the Canada Revenue Agency. Institutional farms and community farms are excluded from the target population.

The observed population consists of establishments on Statistics Canada's Business Register that represent the target population. This frame of operations is derived using signals of agricultural activities on the latest set of tax declarations. To improve the overall coverage of this frame to the target population, information from additional sources including lists of special operations and survey feedback is used include establishments which report their fiscal data differently.

Instrument design

The paper questionnaire has remained stable over the decades, although formats and wording have been modified to maintain its relevance based on feedback from respondents and users.

As of March 2019, the paper questionnaire has been discontinued and the survey is offered in electronic format on the Statistics Canada website. Respondents can now complete the on-line survey themselves or by telephone with an interviewer.

To reduce response burden, sections B and C pertaining to the number of pelts by colour (mink and fox), has been removed from the electronic questionnaire and is now collected through auction house reports.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

This survey is a cutoff census with a cross-sectional design. To reduce response burden, the target population is divided into a take-none portion of small units and a survey portion based on the level of production. All units in the survey portion are collected. The take-none portion is estimated through modelling.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2021-03-16 to 2021-06-28

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

The survey is a census-type in that all known mink and fox ranches over a certain level of production are contacted by email. Mailing lists are produced from the Census of Agriculture and are supplemented by provincial governments. Non-respondents are followed up by telephone by Statistics Canada interviewers.

Data on the quantity and average price of mink and fox pelts are collected from administrative sources. The quantity data are used in conjunction with the survey data to determine the number of pelts produced, births and ending inventory. The average price data are used to calculate pelt values. These data can be adjusted in the process of balancing the supply and disposition of pelts.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

With the electronic questionnaire (EQ), it is possible to implement micro edit procedures at the time of survey completion. Computer programmed edit checks in the EQ report possible data errors, which can then be corrected immediately by the respondent or the interviewer.

Data are then compared on a year-to-year basis. Industry ratios, such as females to males and births to females, are used as error detection guidelines. Analysts cross check each other's work and group reviews are performed. All top contributors are also reviewed. The balance sheet approach of the questionnaire serves to detect reporting errors.


When non-response occurs, when respondents do not completely answer the questionnaire, or when reported data are considered incorrect during the error detection steps, imputation is used to fill in the missing information or to modify the incorrect information. Many methods of imputation may be used, including manual changes made by an analyst. The automated, statistical techniques used to impute the missing data include deterministic imputation, replacement using historical data (with a trend calculated, when appropriate), replacement using auxiliary information available from other sources, replacement based on known data relationships for the sample unit, and replacement using data from a similar unit in the sample (known as donor imputation). Usually, key variables are imputed first and are used as anchors in subsequent steps to impute other related variables.

Imputation generates a complete and coherent microdata file that covers all survey variables and all units from the surveyed portion.


Estimates are produced by first summing up the individual records from the surveyed portion. These are then inflated to account for the take-none portion from which no sample is selected. The contribution of this portion is estimated based upon a model that considers the estimated percentage of the total production included in the take-none population and the overall amount of production from the surveyed units.

Quality evaluation

Prior to the data release, combined survey results are analyzed for comparability. In general, this includes a detailed review of individual responses (especially for the largest companies), general industry conditions, historical trends and information from other external sources (e.g. associations, auction house reports or news articles). Provincial specialists are also consulted in the validation phase.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data. Data are always available at the Canada level.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Comparing the survey data against the administrative pelt quantity and price data ensures that the quality of the estimates produced remains high.

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