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Ruef Brothers (Mt. Angel, OR)

When you buy hazelnuts grown in the U.S., are you supporting the mink industry?

The Ruef family operate the largest mink farms in Oregon. In the city of Mt. Angel, a few steps from the mink sheds, the family also run a large facility to wash, dry and store hazelnuts for area growers. Did you know that Oregon produces 99% of the U.S. crop of hazelnuts?

For the Ruef family, profits from its hazelnut business (Ruef Brothers, LLC) is helping to cover expenses on their mink farm during the current downturn in the fur industry. In other words, when you buy Oregon grown hazelnuts (if the package says “Product of U.S.A.”), your dollars may be keeping a mink farm afloat.

Is it safe to buy Nutella?
According to Ferrero, a small portion of the hazelnuts they buy to make Nutella come from Oregon farms, so unfortunately it’s possible that hazelnuts processed at Ruef Brothers make it into Nutella jars.

You Can Help
The Ruef family work closely with the Hazelnut Growers of Oregon cooperative. Ask the coop to reconsider it’s partnership with the Ruef Brothers’ wash plant/receiving station, as long as the mink farm is operating. Let them know that–unlike hazelnuts and chocolate– hazelnuts and animal cruelty are a horrible combination!

Hazelnut Growers of Oregon
Online comment form.
Post comments on their Facebook page.

Ferrero, the maker of Nutella, as well as Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates, is committed to responsible sourcing of its ingredients. Traceability is an important part of this commitment. Ferrero is able to trace hazelnuts purchased in the U.S. back to the individual farm. Please contact Ferrero and ask if any of its suppliers use the Ruef Brothers hazelnut processing facility in Mt. Angel, Oregon? Urge Ferrero to ensure that there is no connection between its products and the cruel fur industry.

Ferrero U.S.A.
Online comment form.

 photo of mink: Jo-Anne McArthur / Djurrattsalliansen

Urge Ceva to cut ties to the cruel fur industry!

Preventing the spread of disease is one of the biggest challenges for mink farmers. Disease can spread quickly on farms, where thousands of mink are closely confined in wire cages. Fur farmers depend on vaccines to protect against highly contagious and deadly diseases such as distemper, mink viral enteritis and botulism.

Ceva, one of the largest “animal health” companies in the world, is the main producer of vaccines for mink farmers in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The important mink vaccine, Distemink, is produced at Ceva’s plant in Verona, Wisconsin.

Without commercially available vaccines, the fur industry dies.

The fur farming industry has tried to manage diseases that are made worse by the crowded, stressful and unhealthy conditions on fur farms. But you can’t fix what’s wrong with fur farming! The solution is to empty fur farms and close down the industry.

You Can Help
The fur farming industry worldwide depends on Ceva to produce the vaccines it needs to survive, but mink vaccines are a very small part of Ceva’s business (Ceva has said that it produces Distemink at a loss). Please contact Ceva and urge the company to stop propping up an inherently cruel industry. Contact:

Brad McCollum, Senior Vice President
Ceva Animal Health – North America
8735 Rosehill Road
Lenexa, KS 66215
Phone: (913) 894-0230
Online comment form.
Post comments on CEVA’s Facebook page.

— sample letter —

“Please stop producing Distemink and other vaccines that target diseases common on mink farms. Fur farming is a cruel industry. Mink on fur farms are confined to tiny wire cages, where they are prevented from expressing nearly every natural behavior. Mink are often killed using inhumane methods. For ethical reasons, France, UK, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, the Czech Republic and other countries have banned or are phasing out mink farming.”

Please let us know if you receive a response.