If you read my earlier post on the topic, Animal Rights Terrorists have become more active in recent months in raiding mink farms across the country. And it’s primarily attributable to a newly revised “hit list” produced just for that purpose.
The latest burst of raids appears to stem in part from an anonymous posting on a blog this summer of an updated list of mink and fox farms and research facilities first issued in 1996. The new list, called The Final Nail #4, includes addresses, instructions on how to free animals from cages and avoid detection, and a most-wanted list of desirable targets.
And it’s targets include several locations in South Dakota.
It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve attacked South Dakotans, as evidenced by the release of about 3,000 mink at the former Turbak Mink Ranch near Kranzburg.
So the question is, with those precedents in mind, what preparations has South Dakota taken to respond to the increased threat from the newly created hit list?
For an answer, I went to the top law enforcement officer in South Dakota, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley:
Jackley: While our family is involved in ranching/farming and I proudly display the state bird and fish in my office, I respect its free speech until it is acted upon or causes harm to person or property.
2. In encouraging the release of animals and vandalism, have the people involved in creating the list committed a crime for which they can be prosecuted? If not, should it be a crime?
Jackley: Exercising free speech is not a crime; however, if acted upon to harm person or property it could fall under trespassing, vandalism, theft, intentional damage to property etc, including the act of “aiding and abetting.” You may recall as US Atty, I charged Greenpeace for their conduct/involvement at Mt. Rushmore that sent two of our federal agents to the hospital (they were not seriously hurt so it could have been worse).
3. Do you think the release of this ‘animal activist hit list’ creates a heightened risk for these farmers & business owners?
Jackley: Yes, unfortunately there is a heightened risk and those in the potentially affected areas have been and are being contacted by local law enforcement.
4. Do you anticipate that Law Enforcement in the affected counties where these businesses are located will have to add additional safety measures at taxpayer cost to respond to the threat?
Jackley: Through intelligence sharing law enforcement has been aware of this list for some time, prior to the New York Times article. Law enforcement in those affected counties has been given this information and they should make their own decisions on what necessary resource and precautionary measures that should be made.
And that’s what placing South Dakotans on this ‘Hit List’ has caused at the very least; a heightened risk for South Dakotans engaged in what we know as agriculture.
Stay tuned for more on this topic. Because it’s not the only threat to South Dakota Agriculture.