50,000 Minks Loose In Greece After Fur Farm Raid (UPDATED)

american mink photo

Photo via qmnonic via Flickr Creative Commons

Nothing like a flood of minks loose in a country's already fragile ecosystem to put environmentalists in a tough spot. Two fur farms in northern Greece were raided, the results of which saw 50,000 minks running for the hills. Fortunately for everyone (except the minks) the problem could solve itself in a short time.

UPDATE: An animal rights group has claimed responsibility for the raids and a photo of the unfortunate outcome of the action, after the jump. Huffington Post Green reports that no groups are claiming responsibility for the raids, meaning it could very well have been activists not associated with animal rights groups. However, the stunt will cost the farm owners over $1.27 million and most likely didn't save a single mink's life.

The National Fur Breeders' Association says most of the animals will probably die in no time from the summer heat. An equally unfortunate and speedy end as if they'd stayed in the fur farms.

And even if some, or many survive, what would be the ecological impact? When 6,500 minks were released by activist groups in the UK, it caused a wildlife crisis. While European minks are highly endangered (and we aren't sure if these are European or North American minks) Greece is not one of their natural habitats -- if the heat doesn't get them, could they become an invasive predator for at least a short time?

We aren't sure how many of the loose minks were caught, but it'd be tough to round up every last one of 50,000 minks. We'll watch to see what unintended consequences result from these two raids. And not that we condone the practices of the usually incredibly inhumane fur industry, but the intended consequences are also quite severe -- wiping out the livelihood of the fur farmers in one swoop with the possibility of their never recovering from the loss (and all without saving many, if any, minks...).

According to Yahoo, the Animal Liberation Front issued a statement claiming it was responsible for the raids on the mink farms near the towns of Kastoria and Siatista. They said the break-ins were supposed to hit the industry, with particular emphasis on these high producing towns.

But the real result of the raids? A major hit for a few fur traders and a lot of dead minks, which breeders stated weren't likely to survive the late-August heat.

Nor road traffic, apparently; here's an image of a road full of dead minks.

The action made the minks' deaths no less inevitable, but a whole lot less enjoyable. There was probably a more constructive route for protesting against the fur trade.

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