FUR COMMISSION USA PRESS RELEASE, SEPTEMBER 7, 2000
NEW HAMPTON, IOWA: Vandals intent on causing financial damage to a family farm trespassed in the early morning hours of Sept. 7, opening every pen on the Earl Drewelow & Sons Mink Farm. At least 10,000 animals made their way out of their pens, out of a herd of about 14,000. The animals are swarming the farm and the local highway, and hundreds of animals have been killed by cars.
Dozens of family and friends are helping collect the domesticated animals and return them to the safety of the farm.
The Drewelow farm has been in business for over 60 years and is run by Earl, Harvey and Lenny Drewelow. None of the mink are from the wild; all have been raised their entire lives on the farm.
“These mink are farm animals, know nothing about life off the farm and are completely dependent on the farmer,” stated Lenny Drewelew. “They will die in a few days without human help.”
If anyone in Iowa finds a lost mink, please use caution, since the mink will be hungry, and call FCUSA.
“Releasing farm animals is a crime and animal cruelty,” stated Teresa Platt, executive director of FCUSA. “The people who did this will be held accountable for the damage done to the animals and the family farm.”
Following the attack, a press release issued by the North American Animal Liberation Front press office boasted that this was the largest animal release in US history, and speculated that those responsible were ALF followers.
“Although we’ve not heard from the liberators yet, I’ve no doubt this is the work of the Animal Liberation Front,” said spokesman David Barbarash.
Until today, the largest number of animals ever abandoned by animal rightists in the US was 10,000 mink at Arritola Mink Farm in Mount Angel, Oregon, in May 1997. That attack has also gone down in history as one of the worst cases of animal cruelty ever perpetrated in the name of animal rights, since most of the mink were unweaned kits. Over 4,000 of them died as a result.(1)
Animal Elimination Front
“These misguided zealots claim to be animal lovers, but wherever they go, they leave a trail of dead domesticated animals in their wake,” said FCUSA’s Teresa Platt. “Their real goal, of course, is not to protect the ‘rights’ of animals, but to eliminate domesticated animals altogether. That’s why the farmers are now calling them the Animal Elimination Front!”
“Farmers know that, since less than 3% of the Earth can be used to grow crops, domestic animals play a vital role in feeding us,” she continued. “And carnivores, such as the mink and fox raised on fur farms, occupy an important niche in that process, by eating the leftovers from the production of our food.”
Local law enforcement and the FBI are investigating the latest attack. Anyone with information on this crime, should contact the Chickasaw County Sheriff (641) 394-3121 as soon as possible. FCUSA is also offering a reward for information leading to arrests and convictions.
According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service annual mink production report, Iowa has 19 farms, which produced 123,900 pelts in 1999 valued at $4.2 million.