The Fur Farm
"The Fur Farm"
by Dick Mauer
by Dick Mauer
In the early 80s at the Buffalo Station PAIC Ted Golda organized and led a four agent raid on a Finger Lakes area fur farm. We had received telephone complaints and information that the fur farm had hired a crew of Canadians for the fur skinning and processing season. They were working cheaper than the locals had in past years. It was our first experience with a fur farm and I found it to be an eye-opening experience.
A two-hour drive from Buffalo got us out there early, but we were surprised, on arrival, to find the place to be completely impenetrable without the operator's cooperation. The fur farm was completely surrounded by a 12-foot double fence that had several guard dogs roaming freely between the two fences. A telephonic appeal to the management brought them out to the gate to admit us. So much for the element of surprise. The gates had to be opened in such a fashion to keep the dogs corralled. Once inside we learned that the security measures were necessary as the main products were minks and silver foxes. Our visit was in late fall and was the optimum harvest time for the minks and fox because of maximum coat growth for these animals. The animal cages were all suspended above ground and I seem to recall that the animals to be harvested were either 3 or 4 years old. Not only was their fur the most valuable at this point but they had produced several litters of pups that were the future crop.
The skinners turned out to be all Canadians all right and were imported for their expertise in the trade. However, they all turned out to be Canadian Indians and our academy training reminded us DFWTI. The ingenuity of this fur farm was evident with the explanation of what was done with the carcasses. The mink were ground up and fed to the foxes and the foxes were ground up and fed to the mink, Brilliant!