FUR COMMISSION USA PRESS RELEASE, OCTOBER 13, 2011
Wave of Attacks Strike U.S. Mink Farms; Two Perps in Custody
(Revised Oct. 16, 2011)
After years of focusing on other targets, some animal rights terrorists are again turning their attention on the fur industry, with attacks on four mink farms and a dealer in pelts in the last three weeks. The latest attack came on Oct. 12, against a mink farm in Washington.
During the late 1990s, vandalism, trespassing and other crimes against fur farms were at their peak, with 28 cases in 1998 alone. But activity receded sharply in the first decade of this century, with the exact same number of attacks, 28, being notched up in total between 2001 and 2010. Until this September, not a single incident of any significance had been reported this year by the US fur industry.
The lull in activity was not unexpected, for two reasons.
The public’s perception of fur has improved dramatically in the last decade, in particular the realization that as a natural, biodegradable product, fur is an environment-friendly clothing choice.
Meanwhile, the branding of diehard animal rights extremists by the FBI as America’s number one domestic terror threat certainly cooled their heels, as did seeing many of their comrades in arms serving lengthy sentences behind bars.
But now there’s a major blip on the graph.
On Sept. 24, they attacked Carl Salo’s farm near Astoria, OR, releasing some 300 mink.
On Sept. 26, arsonists attempted to burn down Rocky Mountain Fireworks & Fur Co., near Boise, ID, causing about $100,000 in damage. In an anonymous message to the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, guilt was claimed by the previously unheard of “Arson Unit”.
On Oct. 7, the target was Palmer Erickson’s farm in Jewell, IA, where over 1,200 mink were released.
On Oct. 10, Kellie Marshall and Victor Vanorden were caught in the act of raiding a mink farm near Sioux City, IA. They have been charged with felony second-degree criminal mischief, and misdemeanor possession of burglary tools. Vanorden also faces a misdemeanor charge of carrying a weapon.
And in the latest attack, on Oct. 12, Miller’s Mink Ranch in Gifford, WA, saw some 1,100 mink released and abandoned, most of which have now been rescued. An anonymous claim of guilt was sent to the North American Animal Liberation Press Office.
“We’re optimistic that this is an aberration,” said Fur Commission USA’s executive director, Michael Whelan. “Perhaps a new crop of animal rightists hasn’t learned yet that neither society nor law enforcement tolerate destruction and intimidation, and that the penalties can be severe.”
In the attacks on mink farms, most of the animals were returned safely to the farms, while in the Astoria attack, every last one was accounted for. But as is normal following such crimes, any mink still unaccounted for after a few days are presumed to have suffered and died from thirst, hunger, predators, or automobiles.
Fur Commission USA is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of any of these attacks on fur farms.
For further information contact Fur Commission USA.
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