The FBI has been called in after thousands of mink were uncaged from a fur farm in Minnesota. Activists released upwards of 35,000-40,000 mink who were destined to be skinned for fur products at Lang Farms near Eden Valley.
The event occurred earlier on Monday morning with suspicions that the activity went on well through Sunday night. The cages had screws removed and the 6 foot tall exterior fence that surrounded the property had been folded down. The farm had no security cameras at the time. According to the reports, police were called at 5:30am on an early Monday morning to report that the cages of nearly all 40,000 minks at a fur farming plant had been broken into with every animal released.
The mink are valued at over $750,000 once on the market and processed into fur commodity items which has fur traders furious at the loss of revenue. According to Parkc.org it takes 55 mink to create 1 fur coat, each mink valued at around $20.00 which means they’re more valuable when packed into groups. The Lang family are in their fourth generation of fur farming but were not equipped with proper security measures. Michael Whelan, the executive director of the mink farmers’ national trade association declared the incident to be an act of terrorism and has called in for the FBI, CrimeStoppers, Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and others to get involved.
“..the incident falls under the Federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act statute and is being investigated by the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office as well as the FBI.” – Whelan
They may have seen a glimpse of freedom, however, mink are not native to Minnesota (nor are they naturally adapted to live in steel cages) and cannot withstand the summer heat and many have died from exhaust, dehydration and temperatures. They have no maternal instincts or ability to hunt and will most likely bite humans they come into contact with.
As of Friday, over 15,000 mink have died from the blazing summer heat and 10,000 have been recaptured by the the Lang family farm leaving another 15,000 in the wild of Minnesota.
Fur Commission USA and other agencies are not offering a reward to those who help or return the mink.