FUR COMMISSION USA PRESS RELEASE, OCTOBER 18, 2001
Update: See Terrorists Hit Iowa Farm Twice in Six Days. FCUSA press release, Oct. 24, 2001.
Fur Farm Animals Released and Abandoned in Iowa
ELLSWORTH, IOWA: In the early hours of Oct. 17, animal rights terrorists attacked a small fur farm in the sleepy community of Ellsworth, releasing and abandoning some 1,700 mink to be hit by cars and lost to dogs and predators.
No individual or group has yet claimed guilt for the attack, but it has all the hallmarks of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The farming family and neighbors from miles around quickly rounded up about 85% of the frightened animals and returned them to the safety of the farm. Fortunately, the weather was cool which meant the mink were not immediately prone to dehydration. The farm workers will monitor them for the next few weeks since the stress of the incident will take its toll on the health of the livestock.
“These are farm-raised animals which lack the skills to survive in the wild,” explained Teresa Platt, executive director of Fur Commission USA which represents over 600 fur-farming families in 31 states. “The lucky ones are those which did not leave the farm or which are recovered by neighbors. The rest will not last long, particularly at this time of year when food is scarce.” Anyone finding a lost mink, please use caution since it will by now be starving, and call Fur Commission USA at (619) 575-0139.
In September 2000, ALF claimed guilt for the largest livestock release ever in the US when it struck another Iowa farm, in New Hampton.(1) In that attack, Animal Liberation Front terrorists opened the pens of 14,000 mink at the Earl Drewelow & Sons Fur Farm. After many thousands of the animals turned up dead in the surrounding countryside, locals began calling the perpetrators the “Animal Elimination Front”.
Following attacks on mink farms by animal “liberationists”, most of these farm-raised animals typically die within days as they are squashed on the highways or attacked by dogs and predators. Those that survive the first few days usually succumb after a week to stress, hunger or thirst, while the very few that make it through to snowfall will die from cold.
Iowa Battles Terrorists
The October 17 attack in Iowa is all too familiar to Len Drewelow, whose New Hampton farm was attacked on Sept. 7, 2000. Said Len Drewelow, “Since we were victims of terrorism, we can understand how this Ellsworth farmer feels after such a crime. But it’s also amazing to me anyone would have the nerve to commit any terrorist act after September 11.”
After the attack on Drewelow’s farm, Iowa strengthened its laws to address this type of terrorism, which the FBI refers to as “special interest domestic terrorism”. Drewelow testified at hearings and helped pass that Iowa state legislation.
“Obviously, the U.S. government needs to address all types of terrorism, including ‘special interest’ terrorism, both foreign and domestic,” he said.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture, Iowa is the sixth largest mink-producing state with 17 farms producing 137,000 pelts in 2000 for use in cold weather clothing sold throughout the world.(2) U.S. fur sales have risen 40 percent since 1998.(3)
(1) See Two Weeks After ALF Attack, Thousands of Mink Dead or Dying FCUSA press release on Drewelow farm raid, Sept. 22, 2000.
(2) See www.furcommission.com/farming/usda01.pdf
(3) See US Fur Sales Up in 2000; Record Increase Is Largest in Recent History Fur Information Council of America press release, May 21, 2001.
Media Link September 11 with Ecoterror FCUSA commentary, Oct. 17, 2001.
New Hampshire Mink Stolen and Abandoned; Nursing Females and Kits Casualties of War on Animals FCUSA press release, June 14, 2000. Includes link to a National Public Radio program on a 1998 mink farm raid in Michigan.
ALF Pushing Nonsense Philosophy; Farmers Issue Challenge FCUSA press release, Sept. 13, 2000.