Are gorillas threatened by coronavirus? Kopenhagen Fur, a cooperative of 1,500 Danish breeders, accounts for 40% of the global mink production. The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) said humans working on one Utah farm who had COVID-19 in July likely transferred the virus to the animals, and there were no signs that the mink had infected any workers.
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A spokesperson for Utah’s Department of Agriculture told CBS News’ Sophie Lewis that the research done in the state, “still supports that the disease has spread from humans to mink and that the risk of the opposite transmission is very low.” Denmark is one of the world’s main mink fur exporters, producing an estimated 17 million furs per year. Employees from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the Danish Emergency Management Agency in protective equipment are seen amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at a mink farm in Gjoel, North Jutland, Denmark, October 8, 2020.
Ritzau Scanpix/Henning Bagger/REUTERS
Last month, Denmark started culling millions of mink in the north of the country. Mette Frederiksen said a report from a government agency that maps the coronavirus in Denmark has shown a mutation in the virus found in 12 people in the northern part of the country who got infected by mink. Ritzau Scanpix/Mette Moerk/REUTERS
Mink have prompted coronavirus concerns in the U.S. National police head Thorkild Fogde said “it should happen as soon as possible.” Denmark’s minister for food, Mogens Jensen, said 207 farms were now infected, up from 41 last month, and the disease has spread to all of the western peninsula of Jutland. Animal welfare group Humane Society International applauded the prime minister for taking “such an essential and science-based step to protect Danish citizens,” and said it hoped that losing so many mink to the coronavirus causes fur farms to get out of the business. Last month, officials said some 12,000 of the animals had died of the disease on farms in Utah and Wisconsin. recently, too, but officials said there was no evidence of animals infecting humans. The country has registered 50,530 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 729 deaths. According to government estimates, culling the country’s 15 million mink could cost up to 5 billion kroner ($785 million). A total of 207 out of the 1,139 fur farms in Denmark has been infected with COVID-19, which prompted the announcement. “It is very, very serious,” Frederiksen said. “Thus, the mutated virus in mink can have devastating consequences worldwide.”
Mink carcasses are disposed of at a farm in Farre in the southern part of Jutland, Denmark, October 21, 2020. First published on November 5, 2020 / 6:52 AM Denmark to kill 15 million mink amid “very serious” concern over links to human COVID cases
November 5, 2020 / 6:52 AM
Denmark to kill millions of mink due to COVID
Denmark to kill millions of mink due to COVID… Millions of mink will be killed as a result. 00:59
Copenhagen, Denmark — Denmark’s prime minister said Wednesday that the government wants to cull all 15 million mink in Danish farms to minimize the risk of them re-transmitting the new coronavirus to humans. Most of its exports go to China and Hong Kong. The government has promised to compensate farmers. Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said half the 783 human COVID-19 cases in northern Denmark “are related” to mink. 03:45
“Although the death of millions of mink — whether culled for COVID-19 or killed for fur — is an animal welfare tragedy, fur farmers will now have a clear opportunity to pivot away from this cruel and dying industry and choose a more humane and sustainable livelihood instead,” Humane Society International-Europe spokesperson Joanna Swabe said.