Animal liberation activists are being hunted by both Stevens' County sheriffs and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after a raid on a rural mink farm Wednesday night.
More than 1,000 mink were released from cages at Miller's Mink Ranch at 2823 Addy-Gifford Rd. east of Gifford, Wash., according to a press release posted on the website of the North American Animal Liberation Press Office, a group that distributes communiques from — but says it is not affiliated with — militant animal rights activists.
"The approximately two square feet in which Miller's Mink Ranch cages two and sometimes three mink for the whole of their lives is unspeakable," the release reads. "It is unfortunately the standard for mink farms the world over."
The press release is titled "Communiqué from Unnamed Activists."
FBI Supervisor for Spokane Frank Harrill says the bureau usually becomes involved in actions by animal liberation groups due to the movement's prolonged campaign against farms.
He says there have been over 2,000 raids like this one, costing $100 million in property damage since 1980.
Harrill would not say whether the FBI has yet identified any suspects.
The farm was targeted "to cause as much economic damage as possible," says Nicoal Sheen, a press officer for Los Angeles-based Press Office, which posts press releases anonymously.
"Historically, what you have seen is that these places close down because they cannot afford to be in business" after their animals are released, Sheen says. "The fact is that 100 percent of these animals are going to be killed in the fur farms and are going to suffer egregious death and torture before being killed for vanity."