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Colorado mink farm raid under investigation

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Greg Campbell Contributor
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What happens when the Earth Liberation Front comes to town? Colorado residents are grappling with that question in the aftermath of 200 minks being released from a local breeding farm by animal rights activists associated with the group.

Rather than “liv[ing] out their lives along the Little Snake and Yampa Rivers,” as the activists had hoped, most of the animals now face an early death.

James Gore, who owns land in Moffat County where the mink farm was hoping to relocate, told the Craig Daily Press that neighbors shot several of the released mink to protect their own farm animals.

And he said the mink farmers can’t tell whether those that were recaptured are breeders or not, so they’ll all be killed for their fur.

“We caught most of them,” he told the newspaper. “We can’t use any of them for breeding stock. So, they will have to be killed and pelted.”

About 50 of the mink are still on the loose and could pose a threat to neighboring farms with chickens and other small animals.

Earth Liberation Front apparently claimed responsibility, communicating through a group called Bite Back that sent an email to the Craig Daily Press.

“This is one of the smallest mink farms in operation, so opening nearly every cage took very little time,” the email read. “The mink understood our mission and quite literally flew to the ground to make a dash for freedom. To cause the deranged [mink-farm owner Monte] Ages more financial trouble, breeding cards were removed and strewn about, and thrown in the piles of mink waste.”

Animal Liberation Frontline — an online news site that reports on the actions of the Animal Liberation Front, a group closely aligned with Earth Liberation Front — praised the action in an article over the weekend. Even though the recaptured mink will now be killed and pelted because their pedigree as breeding animals can’t be proven, the group considers the raid a success because of the economic damage it did to the farm.

Farmers told the Craig Daily Press they can’t afford to continue mink farming.

“This hugely successful raid comes after nine previous fur farm raids in four months, the biggest surge of activity since the 1990s,” the ALF article said. “The last animal release occurred in early October, when a lone activist took credit for releasing 450 mink from a farm in Minnesota. Additional liberations took place in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

The mink farmers could have earned about $250,000 selling breeding animals to a Danish company, Gore told the Press. At best, they can recoup about $10,000 from the pelts of the recaptured animals.

“We won’t be applying for a permit. We’re done,” said Doyle Checketts, one of Ages’s mink farmers. “I’m too old to start again. I won’t be doing the mink anymore. I can’t afford to go buy stock to get back into it. I’m really tired of fighting.”

The Moffat County sheriff’s department is investigating.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Greg Campbell