October 13, 2011 in Region

Activists release 1,000 mink from ranch

The Associated Press
 

SPOKANE, Wash. — Animal rights activists are believed to have released about 1,000 mink from their cages at a mink farm near the tiny town of Gifford, located along the Columbia River in northeastern Washington, but the freed animals didn’t really scamper away, according to a sheriff’s spokesman.

Stevens County Sheriff Sergeant Loren Erdman said the owners of Miller’s Mink Ranch were able to round up nearly all of the released animals and put them back in pens. He said mink released into the wild tend to die fairly quickly, and most of the animals released early Wednesday morning stayed close to the ranch.

The North American Animal Liberation Press Office said animal liberationists were taking credit for the release. But the press office does not know the names of the people who released the mink.

“We don’t know who does it and we don’t want to know who does it,” said Jerry Vlasek, spokesman for the California-based Animal Liberation group.

In a press release, the group said it also destroyed breeding records.

“We think that the callous disrespect with which the fur industry treats the animals is despicable,”’ the group’s press release said.

A message left at the mink ranch was not returned.

Gifford is an unincorporated community along the Columbia River southwest of Colville.

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