[Press Office note: Pretty sure someone out there is NOT just waiting for the reward to get bigger. Historically, very few liberators have ever been captured, and fewer still imprisoned. Mink killers should definitely stay nervous.]
SUNBURY — The reward for any information leading to the arrest of people responsible for the release of thousands of minks from a fur farm outside of Sunbury in September continues to grow. The amount now being offered is $22,000, according to Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania Director Pete Kingsley.
Kingsley and Charlie Hobbs, executive director of Fur Commission USA, have been releasing new amounts over the past few weeks and are both deeply concerned about the release of minks on Sept 17, from the Richard H. Stahl Sons Inc. fur farm. 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.
Kingsley called the release a “terrorist attack” and that more than 1,300 farm animals are being considered dead. “Nearby farmers report hundreds of chickens were killed by the nasty mink who killed their chickens ‘for fun and not for food,’” the release said. “Over 1,000 mink died from many causes. They were slaughtered on heavily traveled State Route 890, died from shock, stress and trauma often leading to starvation, and were wounded by canine bites from dogs and coyotes. Others perished from intestinal enteritis from ingesting abnormal levels of bacteria from ground contact.”
Hobbs said the minks that were released into the wild, faced 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 minks, 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 shows a 25-second clip of a person allegedly walking through the mink farm.
Buddenberg emailed The Daily Item saying, “The Animal Liberation Front will not be stopped by Fur Commission USA’s reward,” he said.
District Attorney Tony Matulewicz said the incident is still under investigation.