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Animal activists claim they freed minks, FBI calls group terrorists

September 11, 2008 | 10:57 am

Mink_in_the_center_of_battleConsidered to be the second break-in at a fur ranching outfit in Oregon this year, the Animal Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for last week's release of hundreds of mink from the S&N Fur Farm in Scio. Bryan Denson of the Oregonian reports:

The saboteurs wrote that they released as many as 150 mink in Thursday's raid. But ranch owner Ed Sandberg confirmed today that 215 mink were set free after someone cut a hole in his fence.

The ALF saboteurs wrote a communique, passed to The Oregonian Monday morning, explaining that their actions were inspired by releases last month in Jordan, Utah of 600 mink and in Aldergrove, British Columbia of 6,000 mink.

"This is our path through this chaotic and frustrating world," the saboteurs concluded. "Our wisdom will appear to you long before we will. Till the last cage is empty, till all beings are free. ALF."

The ALF struck the Jefferson Fur Farm in April, releasing 53 mink, all of which were recovered, according to the ranch.

FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele confirmed today that agents are investigating the case. The bureau describes the Animal Liberation Front as one of the nation's leading domestic terrorist groups.

Fur industry officials told the Oregonian that captive mink, raised for coats and other garments, rarely survive in the wild after being released. Those not recaptured are often run over by cars or die of starvation or dehydration, the paper reported.

-- Francisco Vara-Orta

Photo: Steve Ringman / Associated Press

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