Free Mink From a Fur Farm, Get Labeled as a “Terrorist”

Animal rights activists are targeting the fur industry with a vengeance. Raids on fur farms across the U.S. have resulted in setting thousands of mink free, and they are just getting started.

In the past three months, 11 raids have taken place that have resulted in the release of at least 9,071 animals, according to the Animal Liberation Press Office. Farms in Minnesota, Iowa, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Montana and Utah have been hit by liberators who are devoted to ending animal exploitation and the fur industry, not only by setting animals free, but by causing economic damage with a tactic known as monkeywrenching.

Michael Whelan, executive director of the Fur Commission U.S.A., called the activists criminal thugs and felons who are committing federal crimes. He also disputed the number of raids, telling the New York Times there have only been seven since July.

Either way, the war is on. Each side continues to point the finger at the other for being a terrorist, but only one is right in the eyes of the law. Freeing mink is a federal crime under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, but liberators still argue the only acts of terror being committed are the violent ones inflicted by humans on the animals who are used in exploitive industries. Even if you don’t agree with these particular tactics, it’s hard to see the side that’s fighting to end the suffering of sentient creatures as the real terrorists in this equation.

For fur-bearing animals on farms, following short lives of intensive confinement in small barren cages, a gruesome death will come via anal electrocution, gassing or neck-breaking before they’re skinned for a luxury product no one actually needs. According to Whelan, most of the demand for mink is coming from overseas, with China importing at least 70 percent of the pelts from the U.S.

For mink on fur farms, the demand for their fur has left them with miserable lives that come with enough psychological stress to cause them to self-mutilate or resort to cannibalism. They’ll never be able to roam as they would in the wild or to experience other natural behaviors like swimming. With few or no laws to even ensure how they’re kept and killed, fur-bearers trapped on fur farms in the U.S. are essentially on their own.

The inherent cruelty of fur farming has raised ethical concerns that have led to bans in Austria, Croatia and the United Kingdom. Fur farms will soon disappear from the Netherlands, while Israel’s working on a blanket ban that would end the import, export and sale of fur products. Other areas that don’t have outright bans have restrictions and laws that would make it cost-prohibitive to run a farm.

Following raids some argue that the mink who are released won’t make it in the wild, but wildlife biologists have found that animals who get loose are able to integrate into the landscape and survive. One study that tracked released mink found that none of them died because they lacked survival skills or natural instincts.

Peter Young, who previously served time for his role in mink farm raids, countered that their chance of survival on farms is zero anyway. They’re bred and raised specifically to be killed. If one does actually get away and survives free in the wild then it’s a success.

With pelting season only a few weeks away and vows from liberators to continue freeing more animals and deliver the final nail to the fur industry, more raids can be expected in the near future.

Photo credit: Dzivnieku briviba


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Diane L.
Diane L2 years ago

Janet said, " I've never heard of animal rights activists being violent.:.............Janet, I guess you were sleeping or out of the country when the ALF admitted responsibility for blowing up a semi used to haul cattle was parked at a rest-stop in Fresno, California, and fortunately, the driver was not inside at the time. Another incident involved an ALF member who was convicted of arson in the fire-bombing of a university research lab where animals were kept, and not only did animals burn to death in the fire, but a woman who was simply a janitress in the building later died after she had a heart attack during the fire. No violent acts? Those are only TWO. Another one was releasing 250 captive-bred and raised mink from a farm in my area several years ago and almost ALL those mink were found dead within days, mauled by coyotes and neighbor dogs, run over by cars, but no people died, and they only destroyed buildings.

Diane L.
Diane L2 years ago

Still scrolling back and cleaning out old posts........came across this one from Jeaneen.........."The terrorist are the ones torturing and killing the Monks, not the heroes that rescued them. I look on people who wear furs, as paying someone to kill for them. After all if they did not wear the furs not one animal would be murdered. Minks are gentle animals and belong in the wild,"........first of all, Jeaneaan, they are MINK, not MONKS, which are religious devotees of Buddism. As for being "gentle", I would dare you to stick your hand in a cage with even captive-bred MINK. They'll rip your hand apart. They are weasels and very aggressive and effective predators. By comparison, Tasmanian Devils are "gentle".

Diane L.
Diane L2 years ago

I know this is an old discussion and Timothy S's comment was made months ago, but I am just scolling back and cleaning out old stuff and read it. Timothy said, "I find these animal activist to be morons, they didn't think beyond opening the cages of the minks. The minks will be the ones to suffer. So why don't these animal activist release animals from zoos? They are ecological terrorist that don't give a damn about the minks, only their selfish political goals. None of them have brain cells between their ears" true! I wonder what they'd think of somebody who proclaimed themselves "child activists" and went to their house and "released their kids" outside on their own, to fend for themselves?.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe2 years ago

Animals need their fur - we don't. Put an end to these stupid fur farms!!

Carol Gilster
Carol Gilster3 years ago

The wild mink living and killing in my suburban neighborhood has killed domestic rabbits, chickens and ducks. It has now attacked a small pug dog living in the neighborhood.
They will work their way up from small to larger animals as they wipe out all they can.

Mark Donner
Mark Donner3 years ago

Jennifer S. .. only one side is in the wrong, human criminals who are breeding mink for unspeakable torture.. better to release them and bankrupt the fur farms. Of course these subhumans must exaggerate and denigrate their animal victims to make themselves look less guilty, it's part of humanity's repulsive nature. I give my full support to these liberators of those nasty fur concentration camps, go for it!!

Jennifer Smith
Jennifer Smith3 years ago

Both sides are in the wrong. Mink will and DO kill for the sake of killing. They love to kill. Releasing them is an ecological nightmare. They'll tear appart anything they can get their teeth into. They can climb, swim, run fast, nothing is safe from them.

So now, they have mink running loose killing everything that's NOT a mink, and before you know it, the farm will be back up anyways.

Virginia Abreu de Paula

Wow, this is so good I have to share. Activists, keep on this great job. Don't worry about whart some people write in Care2...Just keep on setting them free...and also giving problems for those terrible industries. Go, go, go. I love you!