Last Bobcat Freed from Montana Fur Farm

14 Aug

by Peter Young / Animal Liberation Frontline

fraser-lynx-money-shot41

Bobcat imprisoned at Montana fur farm, 2009

The Animal Liberation Front is taking credit for the release of a single bobcat from the Frazier Fur Farm in Plains, Montana. In a communique released today, the ALF stated they entered what appeared to be a closed fur farm, then found a single bobcat in a hutch at the rear of the property. They opened the cage, and watched the bobcat “run free into the wilderness.”

This is the second fur farm liberation in just over two weeks. In late-July, anonymous individuals took credit for releasing between 2,400 and 4,800 mink from a fur farm in Burley, Idaho.

This is the first recorded live liberation from a Montana fur farm. Montana is said to be home to 14 bobcat and lynx farms, according to Coalition Against Fur Farms.

The Frazier Fur Farm is not to be confused with the Fraser Fur Farm, in nearby Ronan, Montana. The latter farm is believed to be the largest wildcat farm in the country, with approximately 90 bobcats.

Despite the fur industry’s attempt to hide the location of their farms, the ALF continues to find them. The communique for this action stated the address of Shelli Frazier’s farm was previously unpublished, further indicating the ALF’s ability to locate and target unpublicized fur farms. Many farms targeted by the  ALF the past 10 years have been unpublished in documents such as The Final Nail.

A 2006 fur farm application with the state of Montana states submitted by Shelli Frazier reads:

Applicant wishes to establish and operate a fur farm to propagate and sell Bobcats. The applicants plan to initially have 2-4 bobcats in enclosed cages. When fully operational, operators have indicated that they may have up to 50 bobcats on the premises.

As the ALF indicated in their communique (posted below), this business plan did not work out for Shelli Frazier. When they finally located her farm this week, only one bobcat remained.

The communique also referenced another failed Montana bobcat farm in Lolo, owned by Cole MacPherson. Remnants of McPherson’s farm remain, and he continues to hold an active fur farm permit despite his farm being found empty in 2012.

After a decline in raids the past 2 years, the actions of the past three weeks indicate this will be another prolific “fur farm raiding season” for the Animal Liberation Front.

The Animal Liberation Front’s communique reads, in full:

“In the early morning hours of July 27, the Animal Liberation Front visited the property of Shelli Frazier at 6934 Highway 200 in the town of Plains, Montana, completely surrounded by the beautiful Lolo National Forest. Frazier applied in 2006 for a permit to imprison bobcats on her property in a fur farm that she hoped would eventually grow to sixty cats. Despite already making a living breeding horses, she perhaps felt that this could be a lucrative side business. We arrived at her unpublished address determined to correct her mistake, and watch her investments run free into the wilderness.

Exploration of the site revealed that the force of economics had already precluded any need for the force of boltcutters – strewn about this disgusting and decrepit property were large empty cages, the rusted remains of Shelli Frazier’s dreams.

It was not until we checked every single run in an empty cat hutch tucked at the back of the northern lot that we found the tragic consequences of her business ineptitude. In one of the runs, huddling against the back wall, surrounded by rotting food, mildewed wood, and his own feces, was a lone bobcat.

The sight of a creature so majestic in a state so pathetic cannot be done justice with words. We have yet been unable to determine why Frazier kept him and him alone, but if it was a sense of sentimentality, it certainly was not evident from his treatment. Emaciated and filthy, his beauty was evident even through the matted fur and traumatized stare, with his bushy jowls and black ear tufts. To be in such proximity to this creature, staring into his haunting yellow eyes, changed every member of our cell. We could only speculate as to how he had suffered and what he had seen, but we could know with certainty that he deserved a shot at freedom. We opened his cage and left.

Shelli Frazier is not the only cruel human ever to keep such noble cats in tiny cages in Lolo National Forest. More than two decades ago, Rodney Coronado visited Cole MacPherson’s bobcat prison in the town of Lolo just an hour’s drive south of Plains. MacPherson’s farm was Frazier’s fantasy – a shed of sixty pacing, neurotic, traumatized large cats. Though he was forced to close shop around 2005, the ALF still keeps tabs on MacPherson – today, he continues his dental practice in Missoula. This should be a lesson to Frazier. If you ever again hold wild creatures captive on your land, we will breach it to free them.

Animal Liberation Front

Additionally, though we generally avoid airing internal issues in communications such as this, we felt that this small action, unlikely to attract media attention, would be appropriate to do so: As an ALF cell, we adhere strictly to the guidelines, including a policy of total nonviolence. Because of our desire not to be misrepresented to the media in this regard, we have in the past very clearly
requested that NAALPO not publicize or speak to the press about certain actions of ours. NAALPO has flagrantly disregarded our wishes in this regard. When a press office claiming to represent the ALF directly scoffs at the requests of the ALF, this should be a scandal within the animal rights movement. Those of us underground risk our freedom and sometimes lives rescuing animals; the least we can expect is a press office that is responsive to us. We regret having to hash this out here, but due to our anonymity we have no other recourse. We hope that NAALPO will respect our wishes in the future – it seems to us that its very legitimacy would hinge on this.”

[Press Office note: Imprisoned in cages for life, or mercilessly trapped with painful leghold traps in the wild,  fur-bearing animals killed to make unnecessary fashion statements are forced to endure intensive confinement, compared to the miles of territory these still-wild animals would enjoy in their natural state. The natural instincts of these captive animals are completely frustrated; self-mutilation, sickness, infection, poor sanitation and the sheer stress of confinement lead animals in captivity to premature death. When they survive, animals of sufficient size are killed by anal electrocution or gassing, then skinned. The Animal Liberation Front utilizes economic sabotage in addition to the direct liberation of animals from conditions of abuse and imprisonment to halt needless animal suffering. By making it more expensive to trade in the lives of innocent, sentient beings, the ALF maintain the atrocities against our brothers and sisters are likely to occur in smaller numbers; their goal is to abolish the exploitation, imprisonment, torture and killing of innocent, non-human animals.

For almost 9 years, the North American Animal Liberation Press Office (NAALPO) has enjoyed the continuous support of the vast majority of the animal liberation community, including current and former ALF members, current and former animal liberation prisoners, and most of those prominent in the movement. While we applaud the liberation of the bobcat elicited above, we DO INDEED SCOFF at the oppressors definition and exclusive use of violence against sentient beings of ANY species, as well as those who succumb, whether out of fear or ignorance, to their definitions and pedantic maneuvering.]

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