SUNBURY (PA)— The executive director of the Fur Commission USA is deeply concerned about the releasing of minks from a fur farm outside of Sunbury and has raised the reward to $16,000 for any individual who has information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible.
On Sept, 17, the Richard H. Stahl Sons Inc., owners of the fur farm, and Fur Commission USA reported several thousand minks, were set free at the fur farm on Route 890 outside of Sunbury when someone cut a fence.
Owner Mark Stahl previously said the number was more likely to be several hundred, and the farm is still recovering and working with investigators. Stahl said the initial report of 6,000 to 8,000 minks being released was accurate, but that was the number of the animals that were released from cages at the farm, not that had escaped into the wild population.
Challis Hobbs, executive director for the Fur Commission USA, said the reward now stands at $16,000. Hobbs emailed the media saying the minks that were released into the wild, face a grim fate in the outside world due to starvation, predators, or disease.
“We thank local and federal law enforcement for their continued help in finding those who perpetrate these heinous crimes,” Hobbs said.
Three days after the release of the mink, Joseph Buddenberg, press officer with the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, said he believed the farm was targeted.
According to the website, animalliberationpressoffice.org, an anonymous letter was posted to the site claiming responsibility for the alleged attack. Buddenberg said he did not know who posted the message, but said he believed the alleged attack was planned.
A video, which is on the site and YouTube, also allegedly shows a 25-second clip of a person walking through the mink farm. On Friday, Buddenberg emailed The Daily Item saying, “The Animal Liberation Front will not be stopped by Fur Commission USA’s reward,” he said.
“Over 25,000 animals have been liberated from U.S. fur farms in the past year. The fur industry’s days of torturing and killing native wildlife with impunity are over.”
District Attorney Tony Matulewicz said the incident is still under investigation.