Group claims responsibility for July mink release

The Animal Liberation Front is claiming responsibility for the release of over 300 mink from a local farm this summer.

On Oct. 29 the Advertiser received an anonymous email originally sent to Bite Back magazine alleging the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is taking credit for the July 31 release of mink from Millbank Fur Farm in Guelph-Eramosa.

The group’s email also included a YouTube link to a video allegedly recorded during the crime.

The email states the ALF is also taking credit for mink releases at Springbrook Fur Farm in St. Agatha and Jeff Mitchell Mink Ranch in Norwich earlier in the year.

“We again documented mink stuffed into obscenely small cages, which appears to be the industry standard across Ontario mink factor farms,” the ALF email stated.

However, Gary Hazlewood, executive director of Canada Mink Breeders Association, said there is “a code of practice for the humane care and handling of mink.”

The code includes guidelines for cage sizes as well as for water and food requirements to name a few.

Created in 2013, the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farmed Mink was created with input from a variety of stakeholder groups, Hazlewood explained, noting there are codes for every farm animal.

“The codes of practice are the result of a rigorous code development process, taking into account the best science available for each species, compiled through an independent peer-reviewed process, along with stakeholder input,” the National Farm Animal Care Council wrote in the code preface.

The mink code specifically outlines cage minimum cage sizes, though farms have until 2023 to implement the new regulations.

“Of course everybody has their own ideas to what the correct size of cage should be,” Hazlewood said.

“But by and large the intent is to base that on scientific research and there is some research being done on cage size now and as that becomes available then that will become the basis for cage size based on animal welfare.”

He also said he thought farmers would continue to secure their farms in whatever way possible.

“I expect that these consolidated and concerted attacks on the mink sector will be taken more seriously by the police going forward,” he said.

The Animal Liberation Front allegedly wrote, “We have exposed what the fur industry has tried to hide from the public … Until every cage is empty we will be on the attack.”