September 7, 2010

Mass Mink Release Stirs Up Controversy

On Monday, four Greek wildlife groups criticized an animal rights group after it released thousands of mink into the wild from fur farms in northwestern Greece, calling the move "misguided."

The four groups -- Anima, Arcturos, Callisto and the Hellenic Ornithological Society -- said in a message: "Regardless of motive, the practice of releasing species foreign to an environment is harmful and can prove destructive."

The wildlife groups said "when biodiversity is threatened by a series of problems, further taxing it with misguided forms of protest is to be condemned."

The minks were released from two fur farms near the towns of Kastoria and Siatista last week.

A statement was posted on Greek website Indymedia a week after the incident claiming responsibility for the act on behalf of the Animal Liberation Front, an international group specializing in direct action against animal abuse.

"We have decided to strike the fur industry and particularly the abhorrent 'fur towns' of Siatista and Kastoria," the statement said, adding that they are "against the repression, exploitation and imprisonment which this civilization has created against all living beings, regardless of species, race, sex or sexual orientation."

Other protests in the area have been carried out over the past two years by animals rights groups concerned with the Greek fur trade.