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3,000 mink released from farm in western Wisconsin as part of apparent raid

Virus Outbreak Netherlands Mink Farms
Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-16 19:28:11-04

TOWN OF LINCOLN, Wis. — Nearly 3,000 mink were released from a mink farm in Trempealeau County last week and now authorities are seeking suspects.

According to the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network, on Aug. 12, someone gained entry into the Town of Lincoln farm by cutting a hole in the chain link fence surrounding the area housing the mink. Authorities say it happened sometime between 11 p.m. and 3:45 a.m.

The Trempealeau County Sheriff's Office is asking if anyone witnessed suspicious activity in the Independence area on State Road 121.

The Animal Liberation Front shared an anonymous online post on Wednesday seemingly admitting to visiting the Olsen Fur Farm (Smieja) and "releasing several hundred mink." The post says in part, "We hope many of the mink enjoy their freedom in the wild and that this farm will be unable to breed thousands upon thousands of them in future years. They have an opportunity now to cut their losses and leave the fur industry forever."

The FBI has previously identified the Animal Liberation Front as an extremist group, calling it a "serious domestic terrorist threat."

The area had similar incidents, but officials say it has been "quite some time" since the last.

Anyone with information should contact Detective Erica Koxlien with the Trempealeau County Sheriff's Office at 715-538-4351 or by email

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