Fire and explosions tear through the twice-raided Ylipelto Mink Farm in Oregon
After two successful raids, activists may have once again visited the Ylipelto Mink Farm in Oregon - this time to burn it down.
In the early hours of July 27th, a boat, car, two forklifts, front-end loader, and a barn were all damaged by fire. investigators have not yet ruled it arson, but have noted the farm has been targeted by the Animal Liberation Front in the past.
Owner Henry Pelto stated he awoke at 3 am to the sound of explosions, and found several pieces of equipment on fire.
The owner revealed new information after the fire: after being targeted twice by activists, the Ylipelto farm shut down in December 2009. While the there may be numerous contributing factors in the closure, it may be largely or wholly credited to the A.L.F.
This marks the second Oregon fur farm to apparently shut down after an A.L.F. raid. The S&N Fur Farm in Scio, Oregon was found to be empty in a summer 2009 investigation as part of the Fur Farm Intelligence Project (although there is conflicting evidence indicating the farm may still be open, or reopening in the near future). That farm was raided by the A.L.F. in September, 2008.
News of the Ylipelto farm's closure sheds doubt on police claims the fire may be the work of activists. Because a closed farm is an unlikely A.L.F. target, an insurance fraud motive should be suspected by investigators. Whoever is behind the fire, it would appear unlikely activists would target a closed mink farm, unless there was strong reason to believe the farm would reopen again in the future.
Watch TV news coverage of the fire here: http://www.katu.com/news/local/99446414.html?tab=video
The Ylipelto Mink Farm has been the site of two mink liberations in recent years. The first occurred in October 2008, where 1,500 mink were released. The raid was claimed by the "Vegan Straight Edge".
The second raid occurred October 4th, 2009, when 300 mink were released. At 1:23 AM that morning, a farmer reported to police that someone was "releasing her mink", indicating the liberators were spotted in the act, but escaped un-arrested. No group took credit for the raid.
Astoria is the largest mink farming town in Oregon, home to five known mink farms (and another possible farm that is unconfirmed).
No claim of responsibility has yet been made for the fire, and investigators have not yet ruled it arson.
The A.L.F. continues to strike major blows to the Oregon fur industry, which has already seen seven fur farm raids - and now, possibly its third A.L.F. arson.
- Peter Young