Up and down the rows of four sheds at RBR Fur Farms the repetition of a distinctive boot track – a Dunlop Purofort Thermo+ full safety – could be seen early Wednesday morning. The foot print (about a size-10 or -11 men’s) is believed to belong to one of the individuals who broke into the farm north of St. Marys late Tuesday morning, proceeding to release almost 7,000 mink and cut four wide openings into the farm’s perimeter fence.
The farm belongs to Canadian Mink Board president Kirk Rankin, and is the second such break-in to a St. Marys-area mink farm with the intention of releasing animals in less than six weeks. This was a larger scale raid than the one previous, with approximately five thousand more animals being released.
Perth County OPP were dispatched to Rankin’s farm Wednesday morning after he reported a break-in and mischief. Meanwhile Wednesday, farm employees, friends and neighbours joined in locating and placing the animals back in their cages. The vast majority of those released never left the farm property, however an exact number of those that did make it into the maze of surrounding corn fields, and the associated loss to the farm, was not yet determined Thursday.
Rankin said he believes the perpetrators entered the farm property from the south-west side around 11:00 pm, and proceeded to release mink from four of his sheds at the very back of the farm until about 1:00 am, less than 200 metres from where the farm’s two dogs lay sleeping. Rankin, whose family has been raising mink in the area since the 1920s, had made inquiries into stepping up security on his farm following the May break-in at Glenwood, however he was still waiting to hear back from a company’s representatives following an initial consultation.
Most of the mink that were released Tuesday night were between eight and 10 weeks old, and all had been weaned, meaning the chances of losing recovered animals to fighting or malnourishment were much less than following the late-May raid on Glenwood Fur Farm, Rankin said. However, the young mink that did make if off the farm stand “absolutely no chance” of survival, he said.
The Perth County OPP Crime Unit is still investigating that incident, which took place overnight on May 30-31.
In early June, a release posted on an Animal Libertion Front web site indicated that “anonymous activists” had taken credit for the Glenwood raid. No such release had been posted about the most recent break-in as of Thursday afternoon.
Anyone having knowledge as to the identity of the people responsible for the break-in are requested to contact the Perth County OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Those wishing to remain anonymous, can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), and may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.
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