Malcolm Klimowicz, the leader of the Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance, was charged with break and enter this week at an Enniskillen area mink farm.
The Schwirtz family, who own the farm near Guelph, are the first fur farmers to move on Klimowicz since he released his videos of five of Ontario’s fur farms in January.
Klimowicz made secretive night-time forays onto five mink farms last summer. His hope was that the 40 Ontario fur farms would be banned as they have been in several countries, including Norway, Austria and Germany.
The videos were also given to the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and posted online. No charges have been laid by the OSPCA.
One of the farms Klimowicz targeted was in the London area. He described hopping electrified fences, walking through swamps and avoiding guard dogs to get to the mink.
He said he found overcrowded cages, dead and injured animals and appalling living conditions.
Klimowicz posted a video commenting on his charges before he turned himself into Waterloo Regional Police.
“They’re literally being tortured to death for fashion. It’s a shame,” he said in the video.
These were not the first demonstrations in the area. In May 2017, six animal welfare groups demonstrated at Ontario fur farms. Three years ago, thousands of mink were released during farm break-ins.
Fur producers have said activists are trespassing onto their farms and the videos don’t give any context to the farming operations.
Klimowicz’s first court appearance on the charge is July 5.
He has said he sees himself as a whistleblower and made it clear in his videos that he will fight any charges. He is also asking for financial support to fund his defence.