Colorado Mink Farm Closes Down for Good Due to ELF Raid

by Eschew Surplusage / Earth First! Newswire

John Ages, who helps Monty Ages and Doyle Checketts run their mink farm, holds up a female mink that was caught after being released purposefully by an unknown individual or group. Photo: Erin Fenner

John Ages, who helps Monty Ages and Doyle Checketts run their mink farm, holds up a female mink that was caught after being released. Photo: Erin Fenner

On November 15 we shared a story released by Bite Back about the Earth Liberation Front freeing mink and destroying breeding cards at a small fur farm in Colorado.

Now it seems that the raid caused the farm to close down for good. Although most of the mink were supposedly recaptured, and only 50 are reported to still be on the loose, the Colorado mink farmers can’t tell whether the recaptured mink are breeders or not, so they’ll be killing them all for their fur.

The mink farmers told the press that they could have made about $250,000 selling breeding mink, but now they’re likely to make only $10,000 from the pelts of the recaptured animals.

The economic impact, and fear of continued actions, was enough to force the fur farm to close. “We won’t be applying for a permit. We’re done,” said Doyle Checketts, one of the mink farmers. “I’m too old to start again. I won’t be doing the mink anymore. I can’t afford to go buy stock to get back into it. I’m really tired of fighting.”

It is common after mink raids for fur farmers and the media to play these actions off as silly or unproductive, announcing that most of the liberated animals were quickly recaptured. But the closing down of this mink farm demonstrates how far the confusion and sabotage of a fur farm raid can go to crippling the profits of the animal exploitation industry. By destroying breeding cards and releasing mink, the ELF cost the farm a potential $240,000—not a small figure for one of the smallest mink farms in operation.

Local media and fur farm apologists claimed that this raid was unsuccessful for animal rights activists because some land owners have shot liberated mink in order to “protect their livestock.” But this is not an accurate measure of success. Every single mink in the Colorado farm was denied access to the natural world and interaction with its fellow beings, and was destined for torture and death at the end of their lifetime of imprisonment. A single mink running free is a victory when torture, psychological trauma and an unnatural death are the alternative.


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