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Mink Released at Farm in Rural Jewell

FBI investigating the release of over one thousand mink in Jewell, Iowa

Actual photo of caged fox on the Palmer Erickson fur farm

After initially sparse reports, the full story is in: Sometime Thursday night, 1,200 to 1,500 mink were liberated from a fur farm in Jewell, Iowa. The target is confirmed as Palmer Erickson's fur farm at 3374 Saratoga Avenue, Jewell, IA.

According to various reports, four sheds at the west end of the property had cages opened. There is no report of any foxes being released. The Animal Liberation Front has not yet claimed responsibility.

Iowa has had more fur farm raids than any other state, with this being the 9th recorded mink farm liberation. After 5 years of steady activity, there were no raids for eight straight years (2003 to 2011). This week's raid broke a long run of peace for fur farmers in Iowa.

The fur industry response

The response from the Fur Commission USA has been somewhat subdued compared to previous raids. They are only offering rewards of $5,000 for information leading the capture of those responsible for the Iowa raid and last weekends Oregon mink release, compared to their offer of $100,000 in past years.

A report from the FCUSA covers the fur farmer's version of how the raid was discovered:

The attack was discovered when the family dogs started barking in the pre-dawn hours, apparently interrupting the raid, as evidence gathered at the site points to a hasty escape by the attackers.

The fur industry in Iowa

The current breakdown of the Iowa fur farming industry is:

17 mink farms (USDA statistics)

8 fox farms (number confirmed open or believed to be open as of 2009)

1 feed supplier (located in Jewell)

One of the fur farms -- the Klingbeil Mink Farm in Remsen -- is currently up for sale. A website has been set up to promote the sale of the farm:

History of Iowa Animal Liberation Front fur farm raids

According to this list of fur farm raids, this is the third fur farm raided in Jewell, and the last known fur farm in Jewell that has not been raided. One -- the Scott Nelson mink farm -- was forced to shut down after the ALF raided it twice in one week. In addition to the three previous raids at two farms, the Hawkeye Mink Cooperative (a short distance from the Palmer Erickson farm) was broken into in 2003. Thousands of documents containing fur farm addresses and other info were confiscated in that raid.

Iowa fur farm raid list:

October 19th, 1997
Circle K Farm
Sioux City, Iowa
5,000 mink, 100 fox liberated

October 21st, 1997
Fassett Fur Farm
Webster City, Iowa
1 mink liberated

August 20th, 1998
Hidden Valley Fur Farm
Guttenburg, Iowa
330 foxes liberated
(the farmer mentions two actions have occurred, only one action is known)

August 21st, 2008
Isebrand Fur Farm
Jewell, Iowa
3,000 mink liberated

September 7th, 2000
Drewelow & Sons Fur Farm
New Hampton, Iowa
14,000 mink liberated

October 16th, 2001
Scott Nelson Mink Ranch
Ellsworth, Iowa
2,000 mink liberated

October 20th, 2001
Scott Nelson Mink Ranch
Ellsworth, Iowa
1,600 recaptured mink re-liberated. Farm forced to close.

January 13, 2002
Hawkeye Mink Cooperative
1324 Main Street
Jewell, Iowa
Office break in, thousands of documents confiscated

August 18th, 2002
Misty Moonlight Mink Ranch
Waverly, Iowa
3,000 mink liberated

The Iowa mink industry is perhaps the hardest hit by the Animal Liberation Front. May there be more to come.

- Peter Young

October 7, 2011
By Pat Powers,
KQWC, Webster City

Officials in northcentral Iowa are investigating vandalism at a mink farm. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department is investigating a report of an incident early this morning in which several mink cages at a rural Jewell residence were opened.

Approximately 1,200 to 1,500 mink were released from those cages. Unknown persons opened pens in several buildings and let the mink loose. The sheriff's office is being assisted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the F.B.I.

Hamilton County sheriff Dennis Hagenson said the release of these animals is considered an act of domestic terrorism.

[Press Office note: No claim by animal liberationists has been received at this time.]

Over 1,000 mink released in Iowa

From: Voice of the Voiceless
Sent: Friday, October 07, 2011 10:16 PM
To: AntiFur
Subject: Over 1,000 mink released in Iowa

Over 1,000 Mink Liberated in Iowa
New article on Voice of the Voiceless
From Voice of the Voiceless

FBI investigating a mink liberation last night in Jewell, Iowa.

Information is sparse, but this morning I received a call that the FBI is making the rounds in Iowa, investigating a mink release that happened last night in Jewell. A few media reports have confirmed the information, estimating the number of mink released at 1,200 to 1,500.

The information available as of now does not identify the farm, but there are two known fur farms in Jewell:

Palmer Erickson
3374 Saratoga Avenue
Jewell, IA 50130
(mink and fox)

Isebrands Fur Farm
3221 Queens Avenue
Jewell, IA 50130
2,500 mink released by the Animal Liberation Front, 1999

A third farm in Jewell, owned by Scott Nelson, was raided by the ALF twice in one week in 2001. That farm was forced to shut down.

More information posted as it is available.

-Peter Young

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