Activists blamed the release of 40,000 mink from the Ohio farm

Activists are likely to blame for the recent release of nearly 40,000 mink from a farm in Van Wert County, Ohio, authorities said. Apparent criminal activity at the farm included stolen animals, destroyed fencing, damage to barns, graffiti and threats against the farmer and his family, according to the U.S. Fur Commission. In total, the damage is estimated at almost 1.6 million dollars.

Currently, the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Department estimates that 10,000 mink are still unaccounted for. Free-ranging mink are domesticated animals that are not used to surviving in the wild, and apart from the threat they pose to local wildlife and the local ecosystem, the animals are already prey on local animals.

Image courtesy of Logan Welker

An area resident reported that 14 chickens were killed by a mink in a house 12 miles from the farm. Hunters in the area are encouraged to take mink by trapping and hunting. In the meantime, they are said to be snow plows being used to clear roads of dead traffic-killed mink.

These terrorist acts are devastating for the farmer and his family, for the surrounding community and ecosystem, and for the mink itself. It is nothing less than an attack on rural America and our right to farm without intimidation and violence,” the USA Fur Commission wrote in their statement upon release.

These acts of terrorism we are not new to the mink industry. In the past three weeks, two other farms in Ohio and one in Michigan have been affected.

“The irony is that although these extreme animal rights activists/terrorists claim to be acting on behalf of animals, nothing could be further from the truth. These releases guarantee a cruel and gruesome death for mink, who have minimal survival skills,” the Fur Commission said in a statement. “Furthermore, their acts of violence destroy private property, threaten livelihoods and make working families fear for their safety.”

Lion Farms USA is a certified operation that follows humane animal care guidelines. According to the Fur Commission, these include animal husbandry practices developed with scientists, veterinarians and welfare experts.

Several agencies are working together on the investigation: the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Patrol, the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

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