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20 mink released, breeding records destroyed in Utah

By Peter Young on Sep 18, 2013

Five mink remain free and 80% of breeding records destroyed in the fifth fur farm rescue this summer.

The FBI is investigating the release of 20 mink in Utah Friday in a raid police say was interrupted by the arrival of a feed delivery truck, causing the perpetrators to take flight. Roughly 80% of the farm’s breeding records were also destroyed. Police say that five of the mink remain free.

So far, the Animal Liberation Front (or other decentralized group) has not taken credit.

Since the ALF launched "fur farm raiding season" with the release of The Final Nail #4 in early June, farms in Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, and now Utah have been hit, with as many as 7,300 animals released. This is the 5th rescue of fur farm animals in two months, in a summer that has seen a wave of large Animal Liberation Front (and unclaimed) actions.

Aftermath of an ALF mink release in nearby Kaysville UT (2008)

Aftermath of an ALF mink release in nearby Kaysville UT (2008)

Breeding records destroyed

Maximizing the impact of the raid, the majority of the breeding cards (generally found posted above cages) were also destroyed. This can cripple a mink farm by destroying the verifiable pedigree of its most valuable asset: the breeding stock. Without breeding records, a farm can suffer a massive financial loss and be forced to start from scratch.

Historically, the Animal Liberation Front has begun fur farm releases by destroying the records; a mostly silent activity unlikely to arouse attention before the noisier phase when animals are released.

Name of the farm kept secret

This is the first time in memory that police have refused to name the target of an animal liberation action, citing the threat of future raids if the fur farm is named. A police spokesperson had this to say about area mink farmers:

"They're trying to remain as aloof as they possibly can because they don’t want to be revictimized."

Narrowing down the list of possible targets

Although not named, the list of potential targets is narrowed down significantly by one detail: The raid was allegedly thwarted by the arrive of a feed delivery truck.

The Blueprint fur farm list contains an anonymously-submitted list of all Summit County fur farms on the delivery route for the Northwest Fur Breeder’s Cooperative. Presumably, their feed delivery truck is the one referred to by police.

Here is the list:

Black Willow Mink, Coalville, Utah
BK Mink Ranch, Coalville, Utah
Rees’ Fur Farm, Coalville, Utah
Ovards mink farm, Wanship, Utah
D&B Fur Farm, Peoa, Utah
G-W Fur Farm, Peoa, Utah

In all probability, the most recent mink release was at one of these six farms.

The season for liberation

This rescue is yet another significant, life-saving action in the most active summer for the ALF in over a decade. Here is a list of the largest Animal Liberation Front (and unclaimed) actions of this summer:

  • Pheasants released from “game breeder”, Riverside CA (July 22nd)
  • Horse slaughterhouse set on fire, Roswell NM (July 27th)
  • 4,800 mink released from fur farm, Burley, Id (July 28th)
  • Bobcat freed from fur farm, Plains MT (August)
  • Birds release from wildlife exhibit, Corvallis OR
  • 2,000 mink released from fur farm, Morris IL (August 14th)
  • 500 mink released from fur farm, Keota IA (August 30th)

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