Wildlife officials say hundreds and possibly more than 1,000 mink are on the loose from a St-Hyacinthe-area fur farm after an intruder broke in and opened cages.
The farm in St-Jude, about 75 kilometres northeast of Montreal, was the subject of numerous media reports last week after the Montreal SPCA reported foxes and mink living in what it alleged were inhumane conditions.
- Quebec won't remove animals from fur farm facing allegations of cruelty
- Fur farm animal abuse case 'troubling,' says Geoff Kelley
- Abuse not the norm in Quebec fur industry, say farmer
At the time of the reports, many mink farm owners expressed concern that their operations would be targeted by anti-fur activists as a result.
Farm owner Jean-Luc Rodier refused to speak with CBC News today.
The head of the Canadian Fur Council said the released mink likely would not survive long in the wild.
Alan Herscovici said many of the animals would likely be hit by cars because they’re attracted to the sound of engines, which they mistake for the feeding mechanism back at the farm.
"We've seen in other cases when mink are released like this, irresponsibly, most of the mink are killed," he told CBC News.
He also said the mink are aggressive, and it is possible the released animals will attack other smaller animals.