Fur farmers were taking extra precautions and stepping up security following a fire-bombing at a mink-feed plant that caused up to $1 million in damage.
An animal rights activist claimed responsibility for the fire early Tuesday at the Utah Fur Breeders Agricultural Cooperative in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy.
Six pipe bombs destroyed several trucks and ignited a fire in the plant’s main building.
“That’s about as big an act of terrorism as you can find,” said Richard Westwood, a mink farmer and a member of the cooperative’s board of directors.
No injuries were reported and none of the 300 minks at the farm were released or harmed. But Utah fur farmers, the nation’s second-highest producers of mink, were not taking the fire lightly.
Westwood said he and other farmers will depend on security systems and have hired guards to patrol their farms.
The co-op also plans to fence its yard and install an outside alarm system.
J.P. Goodwin, national director of the Dallas-based Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, said he got a phone call from an animal rights activist taking responsibility for Tuesday’s bombings.
Goodwin said the caller threatened more attacks if demands of two Syracuse, N.Y., inmates are not met.
The inmates, Jeff Watkins and Nicole Rogers, were on a hunger strike demanding changes in the way animals are trapped and treated.