Mink freed in repeat attack

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The Independent Online
WHO WOULD want to be a mink? By the end of their first week on the run, many had returned to the farm from which they were released by animal liberationists and piteously begged to be let back in.

They evidently didn't reckon on the persistent nature of the truly committed animal activist. Yesterday, whether they liked it or not, the mink were liberated again.

A member of staff arriving at Crow Hill Farm in Ringwood, Hampshire, found a new section of the perimeter fence cut yesterday morning and 40 cages open. It is thought about 500 mink made off into the surrounding countryside.

For many this will be their second taste of freedom but life on the outside has not been easy. Of the 4,000 that initially escaped, it is estimated that around 2,000 are still at large, 1,000 have returned - either voluntarily or after being caught - and the rest have met their maker. The majority have been shot, but several have been beaten by shovels, watering cans and hockey sticks as a desperate public fights to protect its pets and livestock from the vicious predators.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the second raid, but the Animal Liberation Front said it was behind the first. A spokesman for Hampshire Police said: "Whoever committed this crime is extremely foolhardy in the light of previous advice in respect of the damage to wildlife and local ecology." A spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture said its staff, who were in the area trying to trap the mink released in the first raid, now faced having to capture many of the same animals a second time.