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Statement on Activist Ohio Mink Release

In acts of devastating violence, animal cruelty and vandalism, animal rights extremists continue to terrorize rural farmers.  Just this week, another farm was targeted, this time in Van Wert County OH. Close to 40,000 mink were released into the countryside where they will die from starvation, predators, or disease. This on-farm criminal activity also included stolen livestock, destroyed fences, damage to barns, graffiti, and threats to the farmer and his family and damages potentially totaling close to $1.6 M.

These terrorist acts are devastating for the farmer and his family, the community and surrounding ecosystem, and the mink themselves. It is nothing less than an attack on rural America and our right to farm, free from intimidation and violence.


This most recent victim, a mink farmer in Ohio, operates a legal, certified operation that follows guidelines governing the humane care of animals. These guidelines include animal husbandry practices developed with scientists, veterinarians, and welfare experts, with rigorous standards for nutrition, housing, biosecurity, veterinary care, and humane harvesting. His farm boosts the local economy by purchasing local farm supplies, offering jobs, and buying millions of pounds of local animal byproducts deemed unfit for human consumption and that would otherwise end up in landfills.


A release of 40 thousand mink can have damaging impacts on the surrounding ecosystems as mink, trying to survive in a wild environment, upset the predator-prey balance and, in many cases, will prey on other nearby domestic farm animals such as chickens.  Unfortunately, most will ultimately die from starvation, exposure or get hit by cars.  Compare that to their lives on the farm, where they are fed a nutritionally balanced diet, have access to clean water, pens, and nest boxes for shelter, along with access to veterinarian care – all provided by the farmer.


The irony is that while these extreme animal rights activists/terrorist purport to be acting on behalf of the animals – nothing could be further from the truth. These releases guarantee a cruel and horrific death for the mink, who have minimal survival skills.  Furthermore, their acts of violence are destroying private property, threatening livelihoods, and putting hard-working families in fear for their safety


These animal extremists are terrorists, plain and simple. As defined by the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), any person who engages in certain conduct for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise is a terrorist in the eyes of the law. We thank local and federal law enforcement for their continued help in finding those who perpetrate these heinous crimes.


In America, family farms are a proud symbol of the American dream and a cherished way of life for rural families and communities. They should be safe in their right to farm and to pursue their livelihoods without threats, intimidation or violence.


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