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Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > United States
Third Fur Farm Raid in Two Weeks: 1,000 Mink Released in Washington

October 15, 2011
 
In the latest action in a huge offensive against the fur industry, over 1,000 animals were released from a fur farm in Gifford, Washington. In a communique, animal liberators took credit, and stated they opened approximately 75% of the cages at the farm. Breeding records were destroyed, and three mink were taken off-site and released into the wilderness.

This is the latest in a major spike of ALF activity in the last two weeks, with three fur farm raids, one attempted raid in Iowa, an arson against a fur wholesaler in Idaho, and two massive fish releases in California (which may or may not have been the work of animal liberationists).

There has not been a wave of mink releases on this level since 1998. In a ten day period between August 18th and 28th of that year, five fur farms were hit and over 13,000 animals released. It has been noted that had this momentum been sustained, the fur industry would have possibly been eradicated in the US in a few short years. This recent surge in activity, if maintained, could present just such a threat.

Even the Fur Commission USA is being uncharacteristically transparent in its concern over the surge in actions, stating -

"Until this September, not a single incident of any significance had been reported this year by the US fur industry-- But now there's a major blip on the graph."

This is the 11th reported fur farm release in Washington since 1996.

The fight to save the animals on US fur farms before pelting season continues.

- Peter Young

The full communique from the action reads:

"In the early morning hours of October 12th, we entered Miller's Mink Ranch on Addy-Gifford Road in Washington, and took down every breeder card in one of the two large, main sheds. We opened approximately 3/4 of the cages, many of which had more than one animal, freeing more than a thousand animals. We also took 3 individuals and released them at different locations.

We chose to do this not because we believe that humans wearing fur is inherently wrong. Rather we think that the callous disrespect with which the fur industry treats the animals is despicable. The fact that it has become and 'industry' for the vanity and fashion of the rich is what we hate. In the Pacific NW the fur industry represents more than just animal abuse and species-ism. Trapping, killing, and skinning fur bearing mammals for profit was one of the first steps of westward expansion and manifest destiny in this area. It was one of the first parts of the colonial process that decimated many Native people and cultures. The fact that the fashion and fur industries point to Native people wearing fur as their justification of the factories of death is inexcusable. These people responsible have no personal or cultural ties to the native people who were here first, in fact, they are a part of the system that destroyed their way of life. The current way of 'farming' mink, fox, bobcat, and lynx does not bear any similarity or have any hint of the same respect for life and nature that the native tribes and cultures around here have.

We are not asking for better conditions for farmed mink, for a more humane way of caging wild beings. Mink are fiercely territorial animals in the wild, with territories that can be miles long, usually along waterfronts where they can swim and hunt fish and small mammals. This freedom is their birthright as wild creatures. The approximately 2 square feet in which Miller's Mink Ranch cages two and sometimes three mink for the whole of their lives is unspeakable. It is unfortunately the standard for mink farms the world over. The agony and frustration at never feeling more than wire under paws that were meant for swimming and pursuing prey can only be wondered at. Some mink's fervor for freedom is so great they bite the wires of their cages until they break their teeth.

We would like to dedicate this act to every rebel warrior who died nameless and whose rage and bravery went unseen and unknown, to all who struggle against oppression, even with no light at the end of the tunnel in sight."

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