ShareThis Page
World

15,000 mink dead after release from Minnesota farm

| Friday, July 21, 2017, 6:06 p.m.
Dan Lang, Lang Farms, near Eden Valley, Minn., speaks about the vandals that dismantled a fence and released late Sunday or early Monday mink from the farm into the wild, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Authorities say they believe animal rights activists set free from a pelt farm in central Minnesota about 35,000 mink incapable of surviving in the wild.
Dan Lang, Lang Farms, near Eden Valley, Minn., speaks about the vandals that dismantled a fence and released late Sunday or early Monday mink from the farm into the wild, Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Authorities say they believe animal rights activists set free from a pelt farm in central Minnesota about 35,000 mink incapable of surviving in the wild.

EDEN VALLEY, Minn. — A Minnesota mink farm says 15,000 mink have died after unknown culprits released them from their cages earlier this week.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office says that of approximately 38,000 mink released, 14,000 of the animals are unaccounted for.

Sheriff Don Gudmundson has said he believes animal rights activists released the mink, although no one has been arrested. He said he believes more than one person dismantled the exterior fence at Lang Fur Farms and released the mink from their cages.

The mink have died from heat, stress and dehydration, said Fur Commission USA Executive Director Michael Whelan. Most of the animals that died were young and hadn't yet been weaned from their mothers.

The domesticated animals aren't equipped to live outside the farm environment where they receive food and water daily, he said.

Many of the animals that survived continue to suffer from dehydration and stress. Whelan said he expects more will die within the coming weeks.

“Anyone who thinks they are helping the animals by doing this are severely misinformed,” Whelan said. “This is a crime against the animals as much as against the Lang family.”

The Lang family has been raising mink for four generations.

The crime falls under the Federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act statute and is being investigated by the Stearns County Sheriff's office and the FBI, Whelan said.

Fur Commission USA is offering a $10,000 reward and Tri-County Crime Stoppers is offering $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Residents who spot mink running loose in the area are warned not to approach them. Instead residents are encouraged to notify Lang Farms so an experienced mink handler can recapture the animal.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me