Thousands of mink freed into the wild after break in at Ohio mink farm

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Thousands of mink were released from their cages at Lion Farms USA Mink Farm in Hoaglin Township on Monday night. According to the initial reports from the farm owner, it was estimated that between 25,000 to 40,000 mink had been freed, however employees of the farm were able to recapture many of the animals.

A sign painted on the farm said “ALF We’ll be back.” ALF is the abbreviation for Animal Liberation Front. A press release from the North American Animal Liberation Front, which relays messages from the animal rights group, stated it had not received a claim for the latest mink release, but acknowledged two similar actions at other mink farms this month.

The USA Today reported that residents in the area are being warned to protect their pets and livestock as the hungry mink could be on the hunt for food. Many dead mink have been found on the highways and removed, however 10,000 or more are still missing. People are encouraged to leave the animals alone, although there is no significant threat to people. The animals would likely only attack a person out of fear and do not pose a disease risk.

People in the area who see mink roaming around their homes are encouraged to call a nuisance trapper. Mink have been raised as domestic animals fed daily, but as temperatures drop below freezing, many will succumb to the weather and lack of care.

Mink farms have been targeted by animal rights activists for years, and in the United States the demand for fur has greatly declined. Most of the market is in Europe.

On November 9, the Animal Liberation Front posted on their website:

“MINK LIBERATED IN OHIO – FOR BARRY, RUN WILD

MOTIVATED BY LOVE AND RESPECT FOR BARRY HORNE, ANIMAL LIBERATIONISTS FREED 1,000 MINK SLATED FOR CERTAIN DEATH THIS MONTH IN MASSILLON OHIO. THE FRIENDLY GUARD DOG GRACIOUSLY STOPPED BARKING, AIDING US IN OUR MISSION EVEN AS group THE MINK SCREAMED IN EXCITEMENT ABOUT THEIR FREEDOM.

MINK ARE GENETICALLY WILD, AND SO EAGERLY RAN IN GRASS FOR THE FIRST TIME TOWARDS FREEDOM (WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM SOME SHREDDED CHEESE). THEY CAN NOW EXPECT HEALTHY LIVES IN NATURE. MINK ARE SOLITARY ANIMALS, BUT THESE POOR BABIES WERE FORCED INTO TINY WIRE CAGES STUFFED FULL OF OTHER MINK, UNTIL THEY WERE SCHEDULED FOR ANAL ELECTROCUTION OR GAS CHAMBERS IN PELTING SEASON (MID NOVEMBER- EARLY DECEMBER).

Scientists have become wary of mink farms and suspect they might be carriers of new variants for coronavirus outbreaks. Congress is considering a ban on mink farms after reports of people in Michigan becoming infected with a version of the coronavirus observed mostly in mink.

Any mink that are recaptured will be killed because they have been exposed to diseases.

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