Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. - Unrepentant animal-liberationist Peter Young was sentenced to two years in federal prison for freeing approximately 8,000 mink from Midwestern fur farms in 1997. He was also ordered to pay $254,840 in restitution to the farmers, but has vowed not to pay them a cent. In court he taunted farmers present by stating "It was an absolute pleasure to have visited your farms ... and I wish I could have put more of you in bankruptcy." A raid Peter participated in forced at least one South Dakota mink rancher to go out of business and cost the others thousands of dollars in lost profits and new security systems.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Anderson called Peter "a petty thief," although he was never charged with stealing any of the animals he helped to liberate - a distinction which saved Peter from facing 80 years in prison. Because of a 2003 Supreme Court ruling in favor of anti-abortion activists, the original charge of extortion could no longer be applied to Peter's case. The ruling came during the more than seven year period between when Peter was originally charged and when he was apprehended last March.
In another ironic twist, Peter's accomplice, Justin Samuel, who snitched when captured in 1998, was also sentenced to two years in prison as part of a deal for him selling out his friends and compromising his principles.