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Brief History of the Mink in Britain

The American mink (Mustela vison), has joined the British fauna as a result of escapes and deliberate releases from mink farms where it has been bred for its fur since 1929. Breeding in the wild was confirmed in 1956, in Devon. Since then, the mink has shown that it is well adapted to life in the British countryside, and has become widespread. It is now found throughout most of mainland Britain, with the exception of northwest Scotland and the greater part of Wales.

The mink is a medium-sized carnivore of the weasel family (mustelidae). A typical wild adult male will weigh about 1kg and measure about 60cm from nose to tip of tail.The female is much smaller,weighing only about 600g and measuring approx.50cm from nose to tip of tail. The colour varies from grey to silver and from chocolate to almost black, with all the darker ones having a white spot underneath the chin. The mink is a typical carnivore, well adapted to catch and kill the animals it needs for food. It is agile,strong and active and has sharp teeth and powerful jaws. It is a waterside animal found mainly near lakes and streams and sometimes on the seashore, for it hunts both on land and in the water.

The diet of the mink consists almost entirely of vertebrate animals, mainly fish, birds and mammals and will attack prey many times larger than itself. Mink can cause considerable damage to domestic stock such as chickens and ducks and can create havoc in commercial fisheries. It is for this reason that the mink is considered the most destructive non native species at loose in Britain today.

Fortunately, mink are readily caught in cage traps sited along the waterside and a great number can be accounted for with regular trapping programmes. The most popular baits for mink trapping are rabbit, liver, or pigeon breasts but any fish type bait like pilchards or kippers is equally as good.

To learn the art of successful mink trapping why not buy the dvd? It contains all the information needed to become skilled in the traditional methods of mink control.

National Pest Technicians Association The British Association for Shooting and Conservation