A Quebec fur farmer was found guilty on three charges of animal cruelty on Tuesday, three years after the Montreal SPCA declared his farm “hell on earth.”

Jean-Luc Rodier was sentenced with a $5,000 fine and 75 hours of community service, as well as a 15-year ban on owning any animals except for mink--so that he can continue to pursue his livelihood

The animals he is permitted to own will be supervised by the Montreal SPCA.

In 2014, the SPCA launched an investigation into Rodier’s farm after receiving numerous complaints. The conditions they found on his fox farm were described as “deplorable,” with several of the foxes requiring immediate euthanization.

Montreal SPCA lawyer Sophie Gaillard said her organization feels the sentence is too light, and wants laws need to be changed to eliminate animal cruelty within the fur industry.

“The bigger picture is, this inherently cruel fur industry,” she said. “These criminal prosecutions, they get just the very worst of what can happen on a fur farm but they don’t get the standard industry practices which are keeping wild animals in completely despicable conditions, deprived of any ability to express their natural behaviours. Unfortunately, all that is completely legal.”

Alan Herscovici, a blogger and vice-president of the Fur Council of Canada, said the verdict is proof "the system does work."

"There is no contradiction between animal welfare and commercial fur farming," he said. "The only way you can raise good quality fur today is with excellent care and nutrition of the animals. The farmers have every reason to follow them, aside from the law and aside from the fact you can be prosecuted."

Herscovici said the fur trade, and fur farming, is well-regulated, and that the overwhelming majority of farmers treat their animals very seriously.