Denmark to kill all mink to stop mutated coronavirus spreading to humans

Denmark will cull millions of mink being farmed for their fur in order to stop a mutated version of the new coronavirus from spreading to humans, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced Wednesday.

Now detected at over 200 Danish mink farms, the virus has been mutating in the animals and there have been 12 cases of those mutations being transmitted to humans in the North Jutland region, the country’s infectious diseases institute has said.

“The mutated virus — via mink — can carry the risk that the upcoming vaccine will not work as it should,” Frederiksen, who is currently self-isolating after possible exposure to COVID-19, said in a virtual press conference.

She said continuing to breed mink during the pandemic “entails a significant risk to public health” and that Denmark has a responsibility to prevent a mutated coronavirus from spreading to other countries.

In October, the Scandinavian country already made plans to cull all infected mink, and those within a radius of around 8 kilometers from infected farms, but Wednesday’s announcement extended the cull to all animals, including those being used for breeding.

Frederiksen also apologized to Danish mink breeders, acknowledging they would lose their livelihoods.

Denmark is the world’s biggest producer of mink fur, with around 1,500 farmers churning out some 16 million furs per year.

Coronavirus outbreaks at mink farms have also been recorded in the Netherlands and Spain.

Content retrieved from: https://www.politico.eu/article/denmark-coronavirus-mink-kill-all-stop-mutated-spreading-humans/.

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