St. Marys mink release: Breeders offer $75,000 reward for info
Perth County mink rancher Jeff Richardson holds a mink on Monday, June 1, 2015. (David Imrie / CTV Kitchener)
The Canada Mink Breeders Association is offering a $75,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case of the mink released from their pens last weekend.
Saturday night or Sunday morning, one or more people broke into a farm near the Town of St. Marys and set loose 1,600 mink.
Six hundred remained unaccounted for as of Tuesday, Perth County OPP said.
Although no suspects have been identified, ranchers believe animal welfare activists may be to blame.
In a press release, the president of the mink breeding group said the release showed a “shocking disregard” for the mink due to the young age of many of them.
“Some don’t even have fur and their eyes are not open yet,” Kirk Rankin said.
“To make things worse, the weather was unusually cold over the weekend, increasing the risk of hypothermia.”
About 50 mink were killed by cars or exposure, the release said, while 80 died in the following two days.
More deaths are expected as it is impossible to tell which mink kits belong to which mothers.