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Leaked security Alert #15: 400 mink released in Iowa

The 15th in a series of leaked Fur Commission “security alerts” Animal Liberation Frontline will be posting this month.

Background: Animal Liberation Frontline has obtained dozens of internal fur industry “security alerts.” These bulletins are sent to fur farmers via email and fax every time there is a “security” related issue affecting US fur farms. The subject matter can range from trespassers being chased from farms, to unpublicized details of ALF raids, to farmers sharing license plate numbers of “suspicious vehicles.”These are intended to be read by fur farmers only, and were not intended to be read by the general public.

I will be posting approximately 30 bulletins over the next month. Read a full background on this series here.

 This alert: A synopsis

This bulletin was sent to farmers after the unclaimed raid of the Iowa mink farm owned by Don Conrad. There are a few interesting items here:

  • The media reported only 100 mink were released, while this alert reveals the number (as reported by the Fur Commission) is 396. Because this was never intended to be made public, it is further proof the fur industry under-reports the numbers of animals released to the media. Presumably, this is done to downplay the perceived impact of these raids, and mitigate any empowering effect among activists who may be inspired to carry out raids of their own.
  • The official line in the media was that this was being investigated as a “prank”. However we see here that in private it is clearly looked at as the work of animal liberators.
  • Oddly, even in private fur farmers lie about mink dying of heat exposure. Anyone who has been to (or operates) a mink farm knows the sheds are never climate controlled, and if anything the inside of a shed is hotter than outside.
  • The people named as helping in the roundup effort are Tom Gibson (former fur farmer, now with NAFA), the Underwood family (Fredericksburg, Iowa mink farmers), and John and Rose Lang (Minnesota fur farmers).

“Fur Commission USA
Update on IA mink release
September 3, 2013

As I prepare to pack a lunch bag and roust a surly teenager (It’s 5 AM here), I hope that everyone had a nice Labor Day, and I hope others are as excited about the upcoming fall season as I am.

Update on Mink Farm attack in Keota IA: After speaking with the son (and ranch manager) of the farm owner that had his facility attacked Friday, I would like to provide a quick update. The final count was 396 mink released. About 300 were rescued in the first several hours and about 50 were recovered dead of exposure and/or killed on the roadway. The rest died of exposure or heat related injuries over the weekend.  Temperatures were topping 100 degrees each day, and the mink that were not rescued within the first 6-12 hours never really stood a chance.

The farm owners would like to thank all their friends and neighbors who came to help with the animals (close to 50 people!!), and would like to express special thanks to solicitor Tom Gibson, who spent countless hours in the heat helping out, the Underwood family, who brought needed and welcome hands, and John and Rose Lang who drove over 400 miles to come and help. Many more are also well-deserving of gratitude and commendation. We truly are a caring community.

In the case of a release on your property, God forbid, its important to remember to 1) Call 911 or your local sheriff immediately. 2) seal the fencing and check the cages (many mink may not have left the pens despite open cages) 3) call the people on your phone tree and Fur Commission USA.  We will make sure the Federal authorities respond to the attack, will warn other ranchers, and will prepare statements for the press/public in case of inquiry (the farmer is often way too busy to speak). We will also provide law enforcement with info on farmer-reported suspicious vehicles/persons, related incidents, and background on mink farm attacks.

All farmers should take appropriate security precautions over the next several weeks, as extremists are actively and aggressively looking for soft targets at this time.  Please report any suspicious activity around your property to law enforcement and FCUSA.

Distributed by,
Michael Whelan
Fur Commission USA