The future of tourism in South West Donegal was dealt a very heavy blow when vandals broke into and released ‘a large number’ of the 33,000 mink being intensively reared in one of the local mink farms┬álocated near Ardara. The proportion of the environmental disaster to our wildlife has yet to be clarified by the owners as they are still concentrating on receovering their stock from the mountains┬áover a large area around┬áKillybegs, Kilcar and Glencolmcille.┬á The manager of the farm Mr┬áCon Anderson commended all who are now involved especially angling and gun club members who┬áwill be┬ábusy recovering the mink for a long time to come judging by the┬ávery large scale of the┬áescape. It is now over three days since the escape on last Saturday night and we will begin to see our wildlfie and our salmon in particualr being the food to satisy the hunger of the released mink.
The FISSTA Secretary Noel Carr stated “It is a very serious blow to our rivers and┬áour wild salmon and seatrout in particular. This is an environmental disaster that was waiting to happen since the first break-in at the farm in 2005. At that time protesters (see youtube) took photographs to prove they could have opened the cages at that time. The licenses issued by the Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF) appear to have overlooked adequate regulation to avoid such incidents, just the same as their regulation in the fish farm industry where┬áhigh levels of┬ápollution and sealice infestation┬áare permitted. It is a shock to learn of such an incident from the local Donegal Democrat front page.┬á It confirms our worst fears that there is no action plan┬áfor capture or for public awareness on how to deal with such invasive animals.
This damaging development eminating from such fur farms will focus on the DAFF to end this industry immediately instead of 2012 when it is to be phased out under Government programme.”