VAN WERT, OH (WLIO) - The FBI is looking for the public's help in making arrests in crimes at mink farms in Ohio and Michigan.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations offices in Cleveland and Toledo are looking for information into the release of thousands of mink and vandalism of farms. In November of 2022, 10,000 mink were released by the Animal Liberation Front from a farm in Van Wert County. In February of this year, two females were seen vandalizing a semi at a mink farm in Mercer County. There were mink releases at farms in Massillon, Ohio, and two in Michigan in that same time frame.
If you have any information about who committed the crimes you are asked to call the FBI's tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). You can remain anonymous if you come forward with a tip.
Press Release from FBI Cleveland: CLEVELAND, OH—FBI Cleveland and the FBI Toledo Resident Agency continue to seek information from the public regarding the release and vandalism surrounding several mink farms in Northern Ohio and Michigan several months ago.
The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility for the releases. According to the ALF Liberation Press Office website, ALF is an international, leaderless, decentralized political and social resistance movement that advocates and engages in what it calls nonviolent direct action in protest incidents of animal cruelty. Arson is one of the many tactics utilized by ALF. ALF’s goal is to cause financial hardship to entities whom ALF believes to have committed acts of animal cruelty. Members of ALF and other underground organizations feel that to truly liberate animals, the unjust laws that allow their exploitation must be broken.
The releases and criminal activities stem from occurrences at various locations on the following dates:
- November 8, 2022: ALF release 100 Mink in Massillon, Ohio – between 2:00 a.m.-4:00 a.m.
- November 9, 2022: ALF released 800 Mink Pipkorn Farm, Michigan
- November 15, 2022: ALF released 10,000 Mink in Van Wert, Ohio – between 2:00 a.m.-4:00 a.m.
- December 19, 2022: ALF released 4,000 Mink in Wayland, Michigan
- February 1, 2023: 2 females vandalized a semi-truck at a mink farm in Mercer County Ohio – between 2:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.
The FBI is working collaboratively with local law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, Van Wert County and the Mercer County Sheriff Offices.
The releases caused significant economic strain to the locations where the vandalism occurred. In one instance, the farm closed entirely.
Due to ALF being a leaderless movement and the subjects who carried out the crimes potentially being transient, the FBI is seeking information on individuals who were involved in attempt to provide a successful judicial outcome for the local business owners who suffered financial loss.
Your information may be helpful in the identification of the subjects who committed the criminal activity.
The FBI reminds anyone who comes forward with information can remain anonymous. Contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.