Animal Protection > Worldwide Actions > Italy

reported by activists in Italy:

"In the early hours of June 9th, a mink farm in Rovolon, near Padova, was attacked with fire. The flames devoured the building where the farmer stored food. All refrigerator cells, mixing tools, silos and various machinery were turned to ashes. The flames ignited in several points of the building at 4am and the fire squads had to work until 12 to extinguish them all. Although there was no claim for the action, it was clear its malicious origin, due to traces of petrol found in the area.

Questioned by journalists, the farmer said he suspected animal rights activists were responsible. The guard dog was found safely locked in a vineyard meters away from the building and the 5000 caged minks weren't endangered by the fire. Damages are estimated to be several thousand euros. The building has serious damage and will likely be unusable in the future."

Italian fur farm raided by ALF

A fur farm in Rovolon, Italy was targeted by Animal Liberation Front (ALF) activists during the early hours of 9th June. The farm, near Padova, was attacked with fire.

According to police and fire crews, activists set a food storage building on fire at approximately 4 AM, damaging the structure beyond repair before fire workers were able to contain the blaze. All refrigerator cells, mixing tools, silos, and various machinery were also damaged beyond recovery. Fire crews worked until 12 noon before the fire was completely extinguished.

Although no information was left claiming the action, as is the usual practice amongst ALF activists, traces of petrol were found in the area and the guard dog was discovered safely locked away in a vineyard metres away from the scene of the burned building, which was also located a safe distance away from the mink sheds.

The owner of the farm commented to journalists that, due to nature of the clues left behind, he suspected animal rights activists were responsible.

The farm houses 5000 mink. Although no mink were released during this raid, damages to the farm are estimated to be in the thousands of euros.

This is the first time the farm has been targeted. However, actions against fur farms all across Italy have caused millions of euros worth of damage since 2000. Past actions have included damage to equipment, spray painted messages, live animal releases, and theft of breeding records, which can render the farm's animals useless to the farmer. According to a report published in 2005 by Sandro Bertolino of the Entomology and Zoology department at the University of Turin and Genovesi Peiro of the Italian National Wildlife Institute, 33,200 mink have been released into the wild in Italy since 2000. It takes 60-80 mink pelts to make one fur coat, which can retail for 3000 or more.

Information obtained from the website of the Fur Free Alliance states that after 2010, all mink farms in Italy will be compelled to provide swimming water, more cage space, and pens on the ground. According to the Alliance, it is likely that these requirements will lead to the closure of all Italian mink farms.