Colorado Mink Farm Raided...Then Closes
An Animal Rights Article from

From Peter Young, Animal Liberation Frontline
November 2013

mink farm fur

Owner announces the farm will close after every animal is released at a small Colorado mink farm.

“I won’t be doing the mink anymore. I can’t afford to… get back into it. I’m really tired of fighting.” – mink farm owner Doyle Checketts

In a communique received by Bite Back, the Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for releasing 200 mink Thursday night from the only known fur farm in Colorado. The owner of the farm immediately announced the farm would shut down.

“We’re done. I’m too old to start again.” – farm owner Doyle Checketts

Existence of farm first made public just 3 days ago

The raid comes just 72 hours after the existence of the farm was first made public in an article headlined “Moffat County mink farm relocation proposal causing a stink.” The article, published Tuesday, covered resistance to the farm’s attempt to expand on a new property. Prior to the article, there were no known fur farms in the state.

While the article did not list the farm’s address, it did offer several clues to the farm’s location, including the name of it’s owner. This raid is a testimony to both the investigative ability and quick action of animal liberators, who located a farm within 72 hours with only a name, and then shut it down.

The communique revealed the exact address to be 622 Valley View Drive in rural Moffat County, 8 miles west of Craig, Colorado.

Address of future mink farm location also revealed

The ELF also determined the property where the farm had applied to relocate, and published it in their communique as: 35591 North Hwy 13, Craig CO.

The owner of this property, James Gore, states he still intends to open a mink farm on this property, despite the closure of the farm that was attempting to relocate there.

With Animal Liberation Front (and Earth Liberation Front) so quick to raid newly discovered farms, and the ELF publicizing this address in their communique, the odds are very much against James Gore in opening this farm without intervention from animal liberators.

A quarter of the mink remain free

While figures directly from fur farmers are never to be trusted, the owners reported that 50 of the 200 mink remain free as of Friday.

Losses estimated at $250,000

The raid caused a massive amount of financial damages for a release of only 200 animals. While the value of their pelts was estimated at only $10,000, the farmer had a contract to sell the breeding stock to a Danish company for $250,000. Because the breeding stock have intermixed with non-breeding stock, and the farmer can no longer tell them apart, he is unable to sell them as breeding stock and is out a quarter of a million dollars.

Fur farm siege continues

This hugely successful raid comes after 9 previous fur farm raids in four months, the biggest surge of activity since the 1990s. The last animal release occurred in early October, when a lone activist took credit for releasing 450 mink from a farm in Minnesota. Additional liberations took place in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

The takeaway

With only a name in a newspaper article to work with, courageous individuals were able locate a mink farm in less than three days, and shut it down in one night.

Animal Liberation Frontline update a few days after above posting...

Days after every animal was released from a Colorado mink farm, the county rejected its permit to relocate.

On Thursday, the Earth Liberation Front took credit for releasing at least 200 mink from the only known fur farm in Colorado. The farmer immediately announced the farm would have to close.

But there was one wrinkle to the story: The farm was in the process of relocating to a nearby property, and was awaiting approval of a permit to operate there.

Today Moffat county commissioners denied the farm’s permit to relocate.

Because the farm was being forced to move because of its proximity to nearby homes, and the farm has nowhere to move, its future is looking certain: The fur farm appears to be out of business.

Farm likely to shut down anyway

The denial of the permit may be moot, as the farmer announced after Thursday’s raid that he is shutting down the farm:

I won’t be doing the mink anymore. I can’t afford to… get back into it. I’m really tired of fighting.” – mink farm owner Doyle Checketts

Despite shutdown, owner of new location claimed to be going ahead with mink farm

After the announcement the farm would be shutting down, Sherman Romney, the owner of the property where the farm was slated to relocate, told the media he intended to go forward with a fur farm permit. Presumably, he either intended to open a mink farm himself, or find another fur farmer willing to relocate there.

mink farm raid

While unclear, whatever plans this property owner had are now officially dead. The county denied the permit, and no one can legally operate a mink farm on the property.

The end

We will post any confirmed updates as we learn of them, but for now the conclusion to this story appears to be this: Animal liberators raided the only (known) fur farm in Colorado, and shut it down forever.

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