Sun, 15 Oct 2006, 21:40
Vandals have freed thousands of mink from farms in Galicia, in what police describe as a carefully planned operation. No group has yet claimed responsibility.
Some of the mink recaptured after being freed from farms in Galicia. Photo - EFE.
Reports say the raids were all on farms in La Coruña on Saturday night - in Oza dos Ríos, Muros and Negreira - and that up to 15,000 animals were freed from captivity.
11,000 of them were from a farm in Oza dos Ríos, whose owner, Charo Carrillo, described it as a ?malicious environmental disaster.? She said the vandals dismantled three doors which they propped up on the walls to help the animals escape. Carrillo said she fears that the animals may die within the next few days as all the mink on her farm were bred in captivity and are unable to fend for themselves in the wild.
Another 2,000 of 5,000 animals freed from a farm in Muros the same night managed to escape over the walls of the farm.
It?s not the first such incident in Galicia: 6,500 mink were freed from a farm in Carral in 2004. The Frente de Liberación Animal - The Animal Liberation Front - claimed responsibility on that occasion.
15 Oct 2006, 22:19
Muy buen trabajo Frente de Liberación Animal. Me encanta. Espero que siga más acción.
Very good work Animal Liberation Front. I love it. Waiting for more actions like this.
15 Oct 2006, 22:34
As if the minks wouldn't be knocked off for fur. It's a well done work, which the Animal Liberation Front had done. Go on!
15 Oct 2006, 23:05
as we know minks can survive in the wild nature, acclimatising fast because of beinig wildlife animals, not as for example our cows, overbreeded by us.
animals dying in nature that's life, we won't go out there and hold off a lion from killing a gnu.
i think the death out there is far less cruel than in a mink farm. everyone's dying, but they die in liberty and they have the chance to flight.
if you only had seen one video of a mink liberation you would be surprised how fast they acclimate in the wilderness...
Eco-vandals free mink from Spain farms
By DANIEL WOOLLS, Press Writer Sun Oct 15, 1:41 PM ET
MADRID, Spain - Vandals broke into three mink farms in northwestern Spain and freed more than 15,000 of the prized, furry animals, officials said Sunday.
The raiders ? believed to be environmental activists ? acted under cover of darkness late Saturday in three towns in Galicia, which has about 80 mink farms.
The operation was so well organized that the vandals propped boards on the walls to help animals scale them and placed fish outside the walls as bait to keep them going, said Maria Dolores Sendon, a police official in the town of Muros.
"This was not a prank," she said in a telephone interview. "It was very well planned."
There has been no claim of responsibility and no arrests have been made, said Jose Benito Reza, a conservation official with the Galician regional government.
An estimated 5,000 mink were released from their cages at a farm in Muros, and about 2,000 of them made it outside the walled farm compound, Sendon said.
The biggest raid was at a farm in the town of Oza dos Rios, where some 11,000 of the animals were allowed to scurry out of their cages, and about half made it outside the walls, according to the farm's owner, Charo Carrillo.
She gave no figure for financial losses but told the national news agency Efe that the raid meant "20 years of work to create a high-quality product have been ruined."
Carrillo said that most of those that got away will probably starve to death in a matter of days because they were raised in captivity and do not know how to hunt or fish.
Spain raises about 400,000 mink a year, and 80 percent of them are bred in Galicia, according to a Barcelona-based animal rights group called the Fundacion Altarriba.
Sendon said other mink farms have been hit by eco-raiders but these were the first such incidents in these three towns in the coastal province of La Coruna.
Last year animal rights activists freed 30,000 mink from a farm near the regional capital, Santiago de Compostela, and painted graffiti on the wall to claim responsibility.
Benito Reza said the people who freed the latest batch "did them no favor whatsoever" because they cannot survive in the wild and that the mink are ornery carnivores who might attack other animals and birds.
He also warned people against trying to catch the fugitives, saying they are likely to get bitten and should instead call a police emergency telephone number.