August 20, 2014 12:31 pm
Updated: August 20, 2014 12:33 pm

Intruder frees minks from Quebec farm

A fox is seen in this undated handout photo. Animal welfare advocates are calling for the immediate removal of foxes and minks they say are being housed in inhumane conditions south of Montreal.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/ HO, SPCA, Jo-Anne McArthur

MONTREAL – As many as a few thousand minks could be on the loose in Quebec after someone broke into a fur farm and released animals.

The farm is at the heart of allegations of animal mistreatment.

Provincial police say they are investigating after the overnight release of the minks.

READ MORE: Conditions on Quebec fur farm called horrific

Spokeswoman Joyce Kemp says the owner noticed this morning that the minks had been released from their pens.

A spokesman for the Forests, Wildlife and Parks Department says the exact number of minks on the lam is unclear but that there could be a few thousand.

Animal advocates like the Montreal SPCA and Humane International Canada had called on the government last week to seize the animals because of their poor health and substandard living conditions.

WATCH: Deplorable conditions at Quebec fur farm

The province chose to keep the animals under close supervision at the facility and work with the owner.

Police are meeting with the farms owner in a municipality near St-Hyacinthe, Que.

Global News

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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