Mink Corner: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Nature

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The Independent Online
THE FARMER whose mink were set free on Thursday suffered further misery yesterday after he discovered that two of his vehicles had been vandalised.

Police investigating the release of 7,000 mink from a farm owned by Len Kelsall at Onneley, near Madeley in north Staffordshire, said that a car and a van on a road nearby had been covered with a "corrosive substance".

Mink cages at the farm were hacked open with wire and bolt clippers, resulting in the loss of pounds 40,000 in breeding stock. Almost 1,000 mink were still on the loose yesterday and an army of local volunteers and farmers were assisting in their recapture.

Newcastle-under-Lyme

council, which was organising the round-up, said it was in liaison with the New Forest District Council, which masterminded a similar operation in Hampshire last month. "They are giving us information based on their own experience," a council spokeswoman said yesterday.

She added that of the 2,000 mink that escaped from the farm, about 1,000 had either been recaptured or killed.

Len Kelsall, chairman of the National Fur Breeders Association, blamed the Government for "inciting the terrorists" in its election promise to end mink farming. The Animal Liberation Frontdenied any responsibility for the raid on the Staffordshire farm yesterday.

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