A Minnesota sheriff is blaming animal rights activists for releasing 38,000 mink from an Eden Valley fur farm this week, causing thousands of the domesticated animals to die in the wild.
“If they actually cared about animals they wouldn’t release thousands of mink to die out in the heat,” Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson said Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
“They are not interested in animal rights, they are interested in chaos,” he said.
Dan Lang, owner of Lang Fur Farms, estimated that more than half of his animals are dead, he told the St. Cloud Times. He and a group of neighbors have spent hours rounding up the dead mink, and the live ones, he said, are now fighting among each other because they’ve been thrust into different groupings.
“We just threw mink in pens to try to get as many back as we could. And now they are killing each other,” he told the St. Cloud Times. “And they’re still dying. They are still dying from heat stress.”
The FBI is now involved in helping track down those responsible for dismantling the farm’s exterior fence between 10:30 p.m. Sunday and 5:30 a.m. Monday and releasing the mink from their cages, Sheriff Gudmundson said. There were no security cameras on the premises.
Mr. Lang said he’s devastated over the loss, which is estimated at about $750,000 for the loss of business generated from selling the mink pelts, the St. Cloud Times reported.
“I’m so sick of crying. It’s unbelievable,” Mr. Lang said. “For the first time in my life this morning, I didn’t want to be [in the barns]. … I want to be by my animals but I can’t bear to see what’s going on anymore.
“I wish these people that did this would come here every day for two weeks, and they could help pick up the dead ones,” he said.
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