Dutch police arrested dozens of animal rights activists after a September 5 attack on a fur farm that resulted in the release of more than 6,000 animals.
According to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, a group of about 120 animal rights activists from several different countries arrived at the fur farm in Putten, The Netherlands, arriving in two buses and several personal vehicles.
According to witnesses, the activists clashed with the farmers and neighbors, broke an alarm system at the farm, damaged vehicles, threw stones at buildings, and released about 6,000 mink.
Forty-nine activists were eventually arrested after a quick-thinking farmer blocked one of the buses by parking his tractor across a road that the bus was attempting to leave by. Another bus, however, managed to leave the area.
Unfortunately, Helsingin Sanomat never publishes the names of accused criminals, but it did report that,
Helsingin Sanomat has information according to which the group compromises hard-line activists who have been arrested or convicted of crimes related to animal rights activism.
Seven of these previously registered activists are believed to be Finns. One of them faces charges related to a farm raid in Finland two years ago.
The arrests apparently also generated quite a bit of controversy in The Netherlands from farmers who wonder why the attack wasn’t prevented since Dutch police admitted they were aware the activists were meeting in The Netherlands as part of an event sponsored by Justice for Animals and, moreover, were aware of threats of just such raids. As Dutch Member of Parliament L.J. Griffith asked,
If the police cannot even trace animal activists, when [sic] what about al-Qaeda?
Finnish animal rights activists arrested after mink farm raid in The Netherlands. Helsingin Sanomat, September 10, 2003.
Four Finnish animal rights activists still held in Dutch jail. Helsingin Sanomat, September 12, 2003.
Dutch mink farmer upset by Finnish animal rights activists. Helsingin Sanomat, September 16, 2003.