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FBI Investigates Illegal Release of 10,000 Minks from Ohio Farm
Ohio Ag Connection - 05/25/2023

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is actively investigating the illegal release of approximately 10,000 minks from a farm in northwestern Ohio that occurred late last year. The FBI has identified the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) as the group responsible for not only the Ohio incident but also other mink releases and acts of vandalism that took place between November 2022 and February 2023.

The Cleveland FBI office and the FBI Toledo Resident Agency are looking into several incidents, including the following:

• November 8, 2022: ALF releases 100 minks in Massillon, Ohio. • November 9, 2022: ALF releases 800 minks from Pipkorn Farm in Michigan. • November 15, 2022: ALF releases 10,000 minks from a farm in Van Wert County, Ohio. • December 19, 2022: ALF releases 4,000 minks in Wayland, Michigan. • February 1, 2023: Two women vandalize a semi-trailer at a mink farm in Mercer County, Ohio.

During the November 15 incident at Lion Farms USA Mink Farm in Hoaglin Township, it was estimated that between 25,000 and 40,000 minks were released. The perpetrators damaged fencing and opened the cages, leading to the escape of a significant number of minks. The Van Wert County Sheriff's Office reported that 10,000 minks remained unaccounted for, although some minks were recaptured on the farm.

Minks are carnivorous mammals known to prey on larger animals, which can be a nuisance for livestock owners and individuals with ornamental ponds or pets, as noted by the sheriff's office. ALF, an organization described as a "leaderless movement," aims to liberate animals from facilities that it deems abusive, including laboratories, factory farms, and fur farms. The FBI has stated that the individuals involved in these incidents may be transient.

The FBI emphasized that ALF's actions in Ohio and Michigan have caused significant economic damage to the targeted businesses, resulting in the permanent closure of one farm. Anyone with information related to these incidents is urged to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).

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