Warning: Some pictures are quite graphic.A Canadian mink farm has been charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty after an undercover investigation by Last Chance For Animals (LCA). The investigation, which started in 2017 and spanned the course of a year, was the first of its kind, revealing the shocking process and horrendous animal neglect behind the Canadian fur market.
At Millbank farm, located in Ontario, there are a staggering 40,000 mink. LCA's investigator witnessed disturbing displays of hundreds of mink suffering with severe head and neck lesions without veterinary care. According to Kelowna Now, the LCA said:
In addition to clear incidents of animal suffering, the evidence collected in the investigation shows animals with open, untreated wounds and infections, and documents a lack of adequate and sanitary mink shelters, and food. During the course of the investigation, LCA’s investigator never saw a veterinarian on site.
When LCA brought this to the attention of Millbank staff, they simply said "[the manager] just really doesn't like killing them. He likes to let them die on their own".According to the National Farm Animal Care Council code of practice for the care and handling of foreign mink, animals exhibiting signs of illness, injury or pain must be provided with immediate medical care or immediately euthanised when treatment is not appropriate.
Screenshot of the undercover video investigation by LCA showing the extent of the minks' neglect. Source: LCA
Throughout the farm, minks can be heard crying in pain and circling their cages in behaviour stereotypical of poor psychological well-being. The filthy and cramped conditions often lead to fighting with many minks attacking their cage mate.Workers are seen roughly throwing minks into the 'kill box', grabbing them by their tails as they scream. Once in the 'kill-box', the mink are suffocated with lethal gas, before being skinned for their pelts.
Screenshot of the undercover video investigation by LCA showing the minks' pelts. Source: LCA
After conducting their own investigation, the Ontario SPCA came across the following counts of animal cruelty:
Five counts of permitting an animal to be in distress
Two counts of causing an animal to be in distress
Three counts of failing to provide adequate and appropriate medical attention
Three counts of failing to provide care necessary for general welfare
One count of failing to provide adequate and appropriate sanitary conditions
Jennifer Bluhm, Deputy Chief Inspector, Ontario SPCA said:
There is no excuse for failing to treat animals humanely. No one is exempt from the law when it comes to providing for the animals in their care.
In Canada alone, there are currently some 210 mink farms producing more than 3million pelts annually worth $150 million. With the industry sadly being so lucrative, there is little chance of it being shut down any time soon.
Screenshot of the undercover video investigation by LCA showing the dead minks ready to be skinned. Source: LCA
Below is the video investigation conducted by the LCA.Warning: The video below, taken from Millbank Fur Farm, contains very graphic footage of animals suffering.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DMLpxDrH0Q