Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Axis of Weasels

Aww, those poor helpless mink, ruthlessly farmed for their fur.
Planet Ark | Raiders Set Free Minks on Spanish Fur Farms

MADRID - Night-time raiders freed more than 17,000 minks on fur farms in northern Spain, police said on Sunday.

Police suspect the raiders were animal rights activists or rival breeders. In carefully planned raids, they simultaneously broke into farms in three regions of Galicia, northwest Spain, which is a centre of mink production for the fur trade.
This article is a Reuters story: emphasis is mine. The assertion that police think "rival breeders" might be responsible is not confirmed in the more widely available AP story (see Boston Herald). Reuters also refers to "night-time raiders", whereas the AP article calls 'em what they are, "vandals". I guess even Reuters couldn't use the phrase "freedom-fighters" with a straight face when they're talking about mink. I mean, have you actually seen a living mink? Only two species of this animal carry the glamourous name "mink": The other dozen or so are known variously as stoats, ferrets, polecats, or most commonly, weasels. They're not known for their winning personalities.

Now, it is true that an estimated 17,000 weasels -- I mean, mink -- were released from their cages, but it's also estimated that just under half of them actually managed to escape from the compound. That's still 7,000 mink, a lot of free-range fur. What's going to happen to them?
[The farm's owner Charo] Carrillo said that most of those that got away will probably starve to death in a matter of days because they were raised in captivity and do not know how to hunt or fish.

Jose Benito Reza, a conservation official with the Galician regional government...said the people who freed the latest batch “did them no favor whatsoever” because they cannot survive in the wild and that the mink are ornery carnivores who might attack other animals and birds.

That is, those that aren't shot as the pests they are, or killed by larger animals, or run over by passing motorists. But at least they'll die free. (Even the Free Republic, a bastion of extreme-leftist "thinking", has no sympathy for people who'd turn loose thousands of critters that can't feed themselves.)

Maybe the "raiders" should have crated 'em up, sent them to Australia, and turned 'em loose on the out-of-control rabbit population. Coast to coast bunny / ferret madness.

Ron saw how this story was presented in the local paper (AJC), and replied:
A photo caption in the 10-16 AJC says: “A mink makes its escape Sunday after a group, believed to be environmental activists, broke into three mink farms in northwestern Spain and freed more than 15,000 mink.” The photo is a ground-level, extreme closeup of a mink with farm buildings behind it. I have a few questions:

1. Did an Associated Press photographer accompany the ‘environmental activist’ criminals in the commission of their crime, or --

2. Does AP distribute photographs provided by anonymous criminal sources, or --

3. Are we supposed to believe that a mink paused long enough in ‘making its escape’ for an AP photographer to be summoned, make the trip to the mink farm, and take its picture?

4. Or was this particular mink too stupid to make it up the boards and over the fence? (Possibly a good thing he didn’t escape, if he’s that dumb.)
As with so many newspaper websites, AJC's is an afterthought that imperfectly mirrors the print edition. The photo that accompanied the AP story isn't there, so I haven't seen it. It could, I suppose, be a staged file image of a mink still in captivity, despite the caption that asserts that it is a photo of a crime in progress. It appears that the AP are either complicit in the crime or simply lying about the photo's origin, neither of which reflects well on them.

But it's not like it's real news, like any of the dozen other images the news services have misrepresented or outright faked lately.

No comments: