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Press Release: Mink Farm Raid in Donegal

category national | animal rights | press release author Sunday October 03, 2010 14:14author by Laura Broxson - CAFT Irelandauthor email caftireland at gmail dot comauthor address PO Box 11019, Dublin 2 Report this post to the editors

COALITION TO ABOLISH THE FUR TRADE - IRELAND

***PRESS RELEASE: MINK FARM RAID IN DONEGAL***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CONTACT CAFT Ireland spokesperson: Laura Broxson – 086 8729 444 – www.naracampaigns.org

“The recent release of mink from ‘Rolf Anderson’s Mink Farm’ in Donegal has resulted in a frenzied mass hysteria over the claimed ‘dangers’ of mink on the loose. We want people to step out of this lunacy and actually think logically about the situation” says spokesperson for CAFT Ireland, Laura Broxson

“Whoever liberated these mink from their cages had good reason to do so – fur farming is a barbarically cruel industry, and we fully support what has happened. These animals would have been turned into coats, and now they are free. If you were a mink, which life would you choose?”

“This fur farm, even compared to the others in the country, is of a particularly sub-standard condition. By the farmers’ own admission in recent media interviews, they still illegally keep 5 mink per cage – even though 1 mink per cage barely has enough room to turn around in. We have reported this to the Dept. of Agriculture and are eagerly awaiting their response on the matter.”

“The claims that sheep, horses – and even children – are at risk of a mink attack are just ludicrous. It is actually frightening how grown men and women can believe such uneducated nonsense.”

“Mink are part of the otter family – do people run in fear of otters too? No. So why are mink portrayed as invincible, man-eating beasts? It’s ridiculous.”

“Unfortunately for mink, they seem to have also become the scapegoats for the decline of certain native species in Ireland – even in areas where there have never been fur farms. If there were no mink in the country, perhaps officials would have to acknowledge that pollution, destruction of habitats, hunting, and the over-use of pesticides are actually to blame for species failing to flourish.”

“What is also disturbing is peoples’ eagerness to play ‘God’, by deciding which species they feel should live, and which should be killed – as shown by the Government’s recent decision to sanction a mink cull. Who says mink are less important, or more of a threat to other animals, than any other species in the country? The U.K. has a wild mink population of about 40,000 – and it’s not an issue. Nature always balances itself, it’s humans who create problems.”

“The most conveniently forgotten fact in all of this is that fur farms should not exist in the first place. Animals are kept in horrendous conditions, they are fed liquefied fish organs which they have to lick through the bars of their cages, and when they are 6months old, they are gassed to death – 50 at a time, which results in many being merely unconscious, not dead, when they are skinned.”

“As a society, we have long since moved on from our neanderthal, knuckle-dragging ways – it’s time the fur industry recognised that. They are a blood stain on this country that needs to be removed immediately.”

“The new programme for government has agreed to a phase-out ban on fur farming, set for completion in 2012 – but this is too far away. They need to be shut down now.”

Related Link: http://www.naracampaigns.org
author by V for vendettapublication date Sun Oct 03, 2010 18:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

these companies don't even make much money and any jobs they create are very shit minimum wage jobs that often leave people (who are not completely sociopathic ) psychologically scarred. Who needs this type of industry in this country. Close down these awful places. They lower us all as a society, as a species and as human beings. Surely we are better than this. Aren't we??

author by minksypublication date Mon Oct 04, 2010 01:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

im not advocating cruelty to animals either,but releasing them without forethought,is never a good idea,people will not understand your motives,when published and they will think it is BS..not to mention the fact,the mink are destroying wildlife and local businesses..

author by MinkowskiSpacepublication date Mon Oct 04, 2010 09:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

exactly how are the mink "destroying local businesses"?? (steady on with the hyperbole!) Have they gotten jobs in the banks and refused to lend or what??

These animals will likely just make their way into the local ecosystem and their numbers will reach an equilibrium with the food supply. Lets be honest, There's fuck all wildlife left in Ireland for them to kill anyway after years of neglect in government policies, except loads of rabbits and crows. Fish? good luck to the mink finding many of those either. Most of them will just die off from hunger or being run over by cars. Still slightly better than being trapped in tiny cages and gassed though..

If there is truly such a problem with mink, well then exactly why have our government given a private company (in fact, several!) permission to breed such a dangerous alien species within our borders in large numbers purely for profit? You can't have it both ways?

author by knuckle-draggerpublication date Mon Oct 04, 2010 12:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Laura Broxson makes a number of unsubstantiated points in her press release starting with the first sentence - which gives the impression that Donegal is in the grip of a " frenzied mass hysteria" over the release of these predators into the wild .

Mink “are portrayed as invincible, man-eating beasts”

Mink have been made “ scapegoats for the decline of certain native species in Ireland” .

Mink “are fed liquefied fish organs which they have to lick through the bars of their cages” .

“By the farmers’ own admission in recent media interviews, they still illegally keep 5 mink per cage”

“The U.K. has a wild mink population of about 40,000 – and it’s not an issue.”

Whether true or false , Broxson has made no attempt to offer substantiation for any of the above assertions .

author by whotheF**islaurapublication date Mon Oct 04, 2010 13:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

''Lets be honest, There's fuck all wildlife left in Ireland for them to kill anyway after years of neglect in government policies, except loads of rabbits and crows. Fish?,,so like ' laura bronson ' , you too..are saying it is okay to kill what is left of our wildlife,and there is not f all wildlife in ireland,you say lets be honest,but there is no truth in any of your statements,if you get up at about 5 o clock,in a wooded area,or on a farm,you can see a lot of wildlife,such as foxes and badgers,hedgehogs etc..

author by Paradoxpublication date Mon Oct 04, 2010 13:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hmm. sounds like the mink aren't really causing any problems then are they? You can't have it both ways can you?

author by knuckle draggerpublication date Mon Oct 04, 2010 15:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

People are entitled to be concerned about the release of these animals into the wild .To dismiss such legitimate concern as " frenzied mass hysteria" and to claim as Ms Broxson does that “nature always balances itself, it’s humans who create problems” can lead to the impression that those opposed to cruelty towards animals are misanthropes .That isn't necessarily the case of course , but it is a perception that is out there especially in country areas - and it's a percep[tion that hunting enthusiasts are careful to exploit in order to present themselves as socially-minded and responsible . At this very moment James Murrin from the local Killibegs gun club is making such a case . "We've been working flat out. The farm itself has a gang out trying to catch the mink but if it wasn't for us I don't know what would be done about it. Nobody is bothering to help us," , Currin told the Donegal Democrat last week. http://www.donegaldemocrat.ie/donegalnews/Parents-afrai...41.jp

I agree with Laura B when she says that people should think logically about the situation . So let's get this into proportion .The introduction of wild minks isn’t going to bring extinction to the native Donegal wildlife overnight , and in all probability babies won’t be dragged out of their cots by minks in any great numbers . But that’s not the same as saying that people’s concerns amount to “lunacy”.

Martin Walker, Greater Manchester conservation officer for Lancashire Wildlife Trust assured locals in Bolton that there was no need for the public to worry "unnecessarily" about minks after sightings of the predators in the local rivers and waterways were reported some time ago :

"These animals people have seen probably are mink, but there is no need to worry. If they were provoked, they could probably give a nasty nip, but they don't just jump on people."

Mr Walker did say, however, that minks do pose a danger to other wildlife and that they have a history of attacking and EATING OTTERS and water voles.

Perhaps in the light of Mr Walker’s statement which can be read here, http://archive.lancashireeveningtelegraph.co.uk/1999/8/....html Laura Broxson should review her suggestion that , because the mink is part of the otter family , concerns over minks in the wild are unfounded .

author by sammypublication date Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't agree with animal testing or exploitation. I don't agree with breeding mink for their fur as it is just an uneccessary "status symbol" for rich people. However the action of releasing these animals will have an effect on the local eco system. Just as releasing and large ammount of any species would. I can understand the motives but maybe a better thought out strategy instead of the scatter gun approach would of been better.

author by MinkowskiSpacepublication date Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

funny, nobody seems to place any blame on the company that actually brought these creatures to the area in the first place for a purely selfish profit motive but the fact is these creatures should never have been here in the first place. Its easy to attack protesters for releasing them from inhumane conditions but why is nobody saying anything about the real culprits behind this situation?

author by knuckle draggerpublication date Wed Oct 06, 2010 21:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

“ Its easy to attack protesters for releasing them from inhumane conditions but why is nobody saying anything about the real culprits behind this situation?”

I think that is a good point ,but one that should be addressed to supporters of the mink release . Those who think that release of thousands of mink into the wild was crazy will quickly tell you that the reason so few are talking negatively about the mink farm involved in this action –an action which was presumably partly taken to publicize the ill treatment of farm minks - is that the majority rightly or wrongly regard the release of mink into the wild as a greater crime than the breeding of minks for fur coats.

Whatever about the liberty being enjoyed by the hungry mink at the moment , this was terrible publicity for the opponents of mink farming . There have even been sympathetic media interviews with Connie Anderson, the co-director of the farm ,something that would have undoubtedly disgusted newspaper readers and TV audiences before the action. As I wrote yesterday , this sort of action plays into the hands of the vested interests that want to denigrate the opponents of cruelty to animals .

Most people are opposed to fur farming . I haven’t been able to find figures for Ireland ,but Opinion polls commissioned by RESPECT FOR ANIMALS in 1996 and 1997 consistently revealed 76 per cent of the UK population wanted fur farming banned . http://www.infurmation.com/press_detail.php?id=90

Catlady wrote on this site two years ago , “Campaigners are having success all the time as more and more shops bow to public opinion and stop selling the stuff.” The release will in my opinion set back the causes that the likes of Bernie Wright ,Catlady and Laura B herself have been campaigning for - just as surely as it will set back the work of bird conservationists . How do you by the way explain this to the likes of bird conservationists ? By telling them that they have ";no right to play God". Perhaps ,but who gives Ms Braxson that right ?

“Western Donegal contains some of the most threatened bird species in all of Ireland, and indeed is the last Irish refuge for the internationally important Red-throated Diver, of which only 4-8 breeding pairs remain. Ground nesting birds are especially vulnerable to mink predation and their potential increase in numbers as a result of this release poses a particularly serious threat.”

In the Birdwatch Ireland article that the above quote comes from , and which is linked to below, you can read how the conservation magazine commends on its front page the Killybegs gun club as well as the local anglers association for assisting the owners of the farm to capture or kill the escaped predators .
http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/News/Irresponsibleminkre....aspx

After a mink release in England in 1998 Respect for Animals spokesman Mark Glover said: "This is a disaster, I can't believe anyone seriously involved in the campaign against the fur trade would be involved in this. It's a disaster for the campaign, and it's a disaster for the mink, which will be shot or run over in huge numbers";

Are there no anti-fur groups in Ireland that would come out with such a clear statement ? One would expect most people in Ireland to be at best either baffled or embarrassed by the words used by Laura Broxson to justify the releases ; people living in south Donegal might find them imperious : “The new programme for government has agreed to a phase-out ban on fur farming, set for completion in 2012 – but this is too far away.”

Regretfully anti-fur trade campaigners in Ireland have chosen to justify the action using arguments like those of MinkowskiSpace in his comment above . The only point I’d make to MinkowskiSpace is that , as somebody living at the opposite side of the country to Donegal , I sincerely hope that the group who released these minks into the wild never decide to join the Campaign to Close Sellafield .

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