2000 Mink Released in Wisconsin, Latest in Major ALF Campaign


Peter Young

The eighth US fur farm raid since July sees 2,000 mink freed from a farm in New Holstein, Wisconsin.

Early Saturday, a driver called police to report mink on the road near Bonlander Furs, a mink farm in New Holstein, Wisconsin. Cages had been opened and 2,000 of the farm’s reported 5,000 mink had been released.

Aerial view of the fur farm

Aerial view of the fur farm

The farm’s owner describes the activist’s methods:

“Whoever did it wrecked some of the latches on the cages, the wires were bent way over and some of the boxes were thrown out on the ground.”

This marks the 100th (known) release of animals from a fur farm since the Animal Liberation Front officially began it’s fur farm campaign in 1995 (a single release of foxes was reported in Oregon in 1986, before this tactic was widespread).

The farm makes the unlikely claim that 1500 of the mink have been recaptured as of Saturday evening.

The ALF targeting newly-discovered farms

The ALF appears to be targeting newly discovered farms, with six of the eight farms visited this summer having been made public in the last two years.

The address for Bonlander Furs was first made public in 2012, after a list of 60 previously unknown fur farms surfaced. Sites like Coalition Against Fur Farms and Final Nail track changes in the fur industry, including posting addresses of farms as they become known.

Liberators return to the largest fur farming state

Wisconsin is largest fur farming state in the US, killing over 1 million mink annually. This raid is the first release of animals in the state in nearly 15 years.

The last recorded fur farm rescue occurred in 1999, when the Animal Liberation Front released 2,500 mink from the Gene Meyer mink farm in Plymouth, Wisconsin. The same night, United Feeds – a major feed supplier located just up the road – was burned down. After the raid, Gene Meyer announced the raid had shut down his operation. (Anonymous activists confirmed this claim in a visit to the farm in 2009.)

Major siege underway

Eight fur farms have been hit and over 10,000 animals released since July – a level of activity not seen since the late-90s.

If this momentum is maintained, it could threaten the very existence of the US fur industry and finish it off forever.