A study shows mink kept on fur farms are bored, and one analysis suggests this is a sign of psychological harm.
The paper, ‘Boredom-like states in mink and their behavioural correlates: A replicate study’, was published this month in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science. The experiment in it – to see if mink in “suboptimal” environments show an “elevated interest in diverse stimuli” – is a redo of a previous study. The original, as well as this latest study conducted at Ontario’s Guelph University, do show that mink appear to experience boredom.
It seems a bit obvious – take active, curious, but solitary animals who hunt in open water, and put them in a small cage without any of the stuff they’d have in nature, and the result is a bored animal. Faunalytics, a website that shares research to help animal advocates, described the experiment in an article. They also noted that, “the University of Guelph is a key player in research on captive mink. But its publications tend to focus on ways that the industry can improve conditions for mink only as a means of making more profit.”
The Faunalytics article goes on to conclude that “for animal advocates, the study adds further weight to results from a previous study. It also confirms what we already know: that captivity can foster psychologically damaging situations in all kinds of animal.”
The study provides quantifiable evidence of something most rational, emotionally mature people would assume: animals don’t like being in cages, and they get bored pretty easily. It also confirms what we already know we have to do to protect the animals killed by the fur industry – #MakeFurHistory.