The Ontario SPCA is reviewing complaints stemming from mink farm footage posted by the Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance, but seem to be warning that the footage may be inadmissible should they determine an offence has occurred.
The London Free Press received a statement from OSPCA Spokesperson Melissa Kosowan that stated the OSPCA are “reviewing all information that has been provided to us to determine if an offence has occurred.”
The videos, available to view at EndFurFarming.com(link contains videos that have upsetting and graphic images), show the common and unsettling behaviour of mink kept in small, wire-bottomed cages prior to being killed and skinned. There are also visible wounds to some of the mink, as well as what appear to be maggots near the cages. These are conditions similar to what The Fur-Bearers have seen at other fur farms across Canada. The group has made further allegations, and also have footage of an apparent dog breeding operation from within one of the farms.
Mink are solitary creatures who have large territories and prefer to hunt and play in open water – things that are denied them in captivity. Psychological, emotional, and physical traumas are commonly documented in undercover footage, and as such, mink farming is being shut down in nations around the world.
The Free Press noted that OSPCA spokesperson Kosowan told them that “all evidence, including video, must be less than six months old” and that older evidence is “not admissible as it exceeds the statute of limitation period.”
The exact dates of the capture of the footage may come into play, as some is listed as being taken in June 2017, and others in August 2018.
Kosowan also told the Free Press, “Individuals who attempt to take the law into their own hands instead of immediately reporting concerns are permitting animal cruelty to continue and can impede the Ontario SPCA’s ability to enforce animal cruelty legislation.”
In an email to The Fur-Bearers, Kosowan clarified this statement: “Our statement was to serve as a reminder that anyone who witnesses animal cruelty is urged to report that information immediately to 310-SPCA (7722). Our concern is the high volume of calls we are receiving, in response to social media posts, from individuals who do not have first-hand information to report. In addition, the original complaint appears to be the result of suspectedtrespass and/or illegally releasing animals instead of alerting authorities to animal welfare concerns.”
The Fur-Bearers will continue to monitor this case and present accurate information as it becomes available.
* Please note that the photo in this article is from a Canadian fur farm in 2014, and not part of the KOALA video release or story.