archive: Woodview Mink Farm Demo 20th June 1998
a report from firstname.lastname@example.org
The demo at Woodview Farm on Saturday 20 June saw 5 protesters strip naked outside the fur farm - believed to be the largest in the country and holding around 26,000 mink.
Three women and two men (we did eventually find 2 willing men - thanks for joining in at the last minute!) staged the nude protest behind a banner stating 'We would rather go naked than wear fur' supported by the 60 strong crowd of protesters.
A police officer told one of the protesters that some of his colleagues wanted to arrest the 5 for indecent exposure! They would have looked quite silly in front of TV cameras and protesters.
The North Devon farm erected massive fences in front of the entrances and a new enclosure with guard dogs inside was visible. Temporary signs claimed that mink welfare was OK and that the last MAFF inspection took place on 18 June (what a coincidence!). Various other quotes were made to justify the captivity of the mink all of which failed to convince the demonstrators.
The publicity stunt resulted in local TV, teletext and newspaper coverage to highlight the farm and the plight of the thousands of animals incarcerated there. Summer is a time of particular suffering for the mink, crammed several to a cage in humid, confined conditions with an ever growing fur coat and no water to bathe in despite being semi- aquatic animals.
After the demo we leafleted locals and tourists in Bude, the nearest town, many were shocked to hear of a fur farm so near. However the town is fairly small and after 2 circuits of the main streets, they were fed up with the sight of us!
The main aim of the campaign is to keep the farm in the public eye. Before the first demo in March, Mr Cobbledick had kept a low profile and was unavailable for comment. Since he has attempted to defend his trade by inviting the press inside resulting in features in newspapers and subsequent letters, the 2nd demo has resulted in further publicity and hopefully the debate will continue in the public eye.
The campaign continues as part of the national call to abolish fur farms in the UK, like many other issues, we are waiting for Labour to implement their pre-election promise, whilst a further 100,000 mink are suffering in cages now to die in the Autumn.