News broke on August 26th that a mink and fox furm farm near Simcoe, On (Bollert Fur Farm) was visited by the Animal Liberation Front and that an estimated 750 mink and 50 foxes had been released – with breeding cards also destroyed. This is the second such liberation in the last year in Southern Ontario – a release of 200 mink was reported last year at Oakwood Farms in Niagara Falls, On.
That Oakwood release did not get coverage at the time, but this Bollert Farm release is getting coverage by the local Simcoe Reformer – a QMI, or Sun Media owned corporate publication. The owner of the farm, Robert Bollert, has deferred all comment to Canadian Fur Council spokesperson Nancy Daigneault. Nancy most recently gave press statements as another farm – Springbrook Fur Farm in the Waterloo Region – has been the site of demonstrations, again another example of a farmer deferring comment.
Nancy’s comments, these liberations and the fact that coverage is occurring are all substantial. Fur Farm liberations in the Southern Ontario region have a history, most notably the Chatham 3 case, however, actions like this have not occurred in a long time. It is clear with this liberation that the CFC and these farmers can no longer withhold comment hoping that actions are a one-off.
Nancy’s comments are interesting in that they echo sentiments typically seen in the United States – coming from the mouth of Teresa Platt, someone who for decades was Nancy’s notorious U.S. counterpart. They present release as ecologically unsound – published research suggest otherwise. Common sense tells also you that the sore spot here is that these commodities (animals) have been devalued (an absurd battle of who “cares” more for the animals). Most notable of all though is that Nancy used the “T” word to describe this action – an action which caused no physical harm or risk to any human being – including farmer Bollert. The introduction of language like this signals that the industry is desperate for a political denunciation on similar terms (and if the U.S. is the precedent – new legislation to effectively criminalize this behavior as such). At print no politician has taken the bait – although one would think it would not be hard to convince the Conservative Administration to leap into action and leverage such incidents into sweeping legislation. The Administration is currently bogged down in a protracted struggle against Onkwehon:we nations and environmental activists and training documents, and rhetoric over the last couple of years has shown they have an interest.
What seems most important now is for advocates to raise their voice and support these actions and pledge to support any and all who may be faced with charges or witch hunts as a result. If the CFC feels like they can no longer ignore the issue and is using rhetoric like this then it is clear a battle is coming.
A list of fur farms and other animal enterprise facilities can be found at Final Nail.
Nancy’s full comment can be found below.
“It’s so disappointing what’s happened to him (Bollert),” Daigneault said. “It’s a nuisance and an act of extremism that strikes fear into the heart of any farmer. And it’s a criminal act. It creates a lot of stress for the farmer because it’s an attack on his livelihood. It’s terrorism. They are terrorizing the farmer. That’s what they are doing.
*I am not a spokesperson for these actions.