Minks look like such sweet, innocent, cute animals – like a cross somewhere between a cat and a mouse. But that makes this piece of news even harder and more painful to read.
For some unknown reason, it has been found that mink are severely affected by COVID-19 while the virus is not affecting most of the animals and only weakly affecting some dogs and cats. Nobody knows why the mink are being hit the hardest by Coronavirus.
In Denmark, the government has ordered that 1 million mink would be killed in the country, to prevent a fatally dangerous COVID-19 outbreak.
Where and how did it start?
It is believed that a COVID-19 infected person was working in a mink farm in North Jutland, and after that many mink were found to be infected.
Farm animals were tested, and it was discovered that the Coronavirus was spreading rapidly among them across hundreds of farms. Eventually, government had to try to prevent the outbreak and they have done everything they could. But now, they are out of options and culling the mink seems like the only way to save the remaining population of mink.
“We have continuously launched initiatives to manage and contain the spread of infection. But, in view of the recent large increase, we must unfortunately state that it has not been sufficient to prevent continued spread of infection among the North Jutland mink herds.”
This is what the government has ordered
The order is sweeping. Mink farms within five miles of a farm or herd that is confirmed or suspected to be infected with Covid-19 are also going to be culled.
Mink farmers are pained but they understand why this is necessary, even though this will drive them into loss and possible bankruptcy.
“It is a difficult decision that the government has made, but we fully support it. In recent weeks, we have all experienced that more and more farms in North Jutland have been infected, and no one has been able to explain the increase. Human health must come first.”
The culling process will be handled by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the Danish Emergency Management Agency, and mink breeders will be given compensation for the loss of their animals.
Denmark is the world’s largest producer of mink skins. Mink skins and fur are used in various coats, bags, gloves and many other luxury items.
Featured Image Courtesy: BBC