Federal Charges Levied Against Animal Activist Couple Who Set Burley Mink Free
BURLEY, Idaho (KTVB) --- A pair of animal activists accused of wreaking havoc at an Idaho mink farm during a cross-country crime spree are now facing federal charges.
Thirty-one-year-old Joseph Buddenberg and 28-year-old Nicole Kissane were indicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Anti-Terrorism Act. According to investigators, the pair embarked on a months-long, 40,000-mile trip across the United States in 2013.
Along the way they released a bobcat in Montana, vandalized businesses and homes of people connected to the fur and meat industries, slashed tires, and released nearly 6,000 mink from farms in five different states, according to the indictment.
Buddenberg and Kissane are accused of releasing 1,800 of the animals from Moyle Mink Ranch in Burley July 29, 2013. Mink are related to weasels and are highly prized for their fur, which is used to make coats and other apparel.
Manager Mark Moyle told KTVB the activists cut a fence to get onto his ranch, then opened mink pens, setting the animals free. Moyle said he was able to recapture about 90 percent of the mink. Most of those remaining were hit by cars, he said: The farm-raised mink were used to receiving their food from a machine and apparently ran up to the highway when they heard engines.