Update: Fur Commission USA has issued a statement saying it “staunchly refuses to engage with or validate terrorists groups by offering them a media platform”. Good call, FCUSA!
Former Animal Liberation Front (ALF) member and current North American Animal Liberation Press Officer Joseph Buddenberg challenges Fur Commission USA Executive Director Challis Hobbs or mink farmer Bob Zimbal – who imprisons 400,000 mink on his Wisconsin fur farms – to debate both the ethics of mink farming and the survivability of farm-raised mink after release.
With over 25,000 animals released from U.S. fur farms in the past twelve months garnering international coverage, the fur industry is in damage control mode.
“The fur industry claims that the mink they confine in 10-inch wire cages for the entirety of their lives; mink they intend to kill with lethal doses of carbon monoxide, can not survive in their natural environment. They can not provide evidence for this – because there is no evidence to support this self-serving claim.” said Buddenberg.
Projects such as the Mink Rehabilitation Project, studies such as “Population ecology of free-ranging American mink Mustela vison in Denmark,” and Oxford University’s “The survival of captive-born animals in restoration programmes– Case study of the endangered European mink Mustela lutreola” have demonstrated that captive-raised mink survive and thrive in the wild after release.
Hobbs, Zimbal, or any FCUSA fur farmer are welcome to a debate on the ethics of confining wild animals – yes, wild – domestication does not happen in 80 years – in cages for their entire lives until they are killed for an extraneous luxury product.
“These industry practices are so cruel and archaic they are banned in at least twenty-four countries and the state of California, ” said Buddenberg, who was once imprisoned for liberating nearly 6,000 mink from fur farms.
This public debate can be held at a venue or media outlet of Fur Commission USA’s choice. As they lose their public relations battle – we’re happy to hear them attempt to defend the indefensible.