Not an ALF in Santa’s workshop

Submitted by Kay Helbling

The Animal Liberation Front continues their raids on mink farms. It was the second this year for the S & N Fur Farm in Scio, with more minks dying as a consequence. (Eco-saboteurs Release Minks, Oregonlive. 9/9/08). These are not isolated incidences. In a communiqué written to The Oregonian newspaper, these releases were among others in Utah and British Columbia in the last month. It is no wonder the FBI consider them a leading domestic terrorist group in the country. They repeatedly sacrifice the life of the very animals they purport to defend. Their communiqué included April mink releases, a practice that has been going on for at least 50 years, which is the prime birthing time for mink.

Over ten years ago, it took place on the farm of a friend of mine. She had just finished her breakfast and headed out the door with her two young boys to feed and tend to the minks in the barn. It was a beautiful, crisp, spring morning in the quiet community of Mt. Angel. The minks had recently given birth and the boys loved taking care of them. But, what they found they would never forget.

Across the beautiful Oregon green grass was strewn hundreds of baby mink—or what was left of them. Now they were just masses of fur and blood. They ran to every one, but none were found alive. Most of the adults had gotten away and would be continuing their massacres on neighboring poultry farms.

A mink is an extremely sensitive animal. If a mother is made to feel threatened or disturbed it will immediately begin to eat it’s young. To prevent this, the ranchers immediately separate the kittens (baby mink) from the mother after giving birth. When ALF opened the cages the mothers acted on instinct, slaughtering their young.

In 1954 a court case, Foster v. Preston Mill Co., 44 Wash. 2d 440, 268 P.2d 645 (1954), established liability on the party who disturbs a mink resulting in her killing of her young. Yet, irrespective of court cases or FBI investigations, and defying any logic we can comprehend, the ALF continue busy at work.

Kay was an insurance adjuster and executive for 15 years, a small business owner and a teacher for 10. But, her most fulfilling work has been as a mother of her two boys. She is now looking forward to an empty nest this fall with her best friend—her husband.

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