Unified Sportsmen of PA Want Answers in Mink Investigation

    The Daily Item

SUNBURY — Members of the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania are asking investigators for answers on the probe into who let hundreds of minks loose from a farm outside Sunbury on Sept. 17.

According to a press release from Blaine Troy, president of the Unified Sportsmen of PA, the group is not getting answers on the investigation after the incident drew national attention to the Richard H. Stahl Sons Inc. fur farm, outside of Sunbury.

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.

The reward for any information leading to the arrest of people responsible 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.

Kingsley called the release a “terrorist attack” and that more than 1,300 farm animals are considered dead.

“The current Northumberland County district attorney and the current lead investigator for the state police have never visited the crime scene,” Kingsley said in the release.

“Neither have the FBI nor state officials from Harrisburg including the Pa Department of Agriculture, and the Attorney General’s Office. A Pennsylvania Game Commission game warden visited the farm two days later. Evidence found within 48 hours of this bloody crime has been turned over to the DA’s office and the Stonington State Police, but they have been unable to solve the crime in the past 88 days. Why?”

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 and declined comment on the case. Incoming District Attorney Mike O’Donnell also declined comment on the case because he is not the current district attorney. He will be sworn into office on Jan. 2.