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17 Million Mink Will Be Killed Following Coronavirus Outbreak

17 Million Mink Will Be Killed Following Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus pandemic has spread to a mink farm in Denmark, meaning 17 million of the animal now have to be culled.

Joanna Freedman

Joanna Freedman

Mink in Denmark are to be culled in huge numbers after a mutated version of Covid-19 was found in the animals on a farm there.

As many as 17 million mink are now to be killed after it was discovered that not only caught coronavirus from humans, but they also could pass it on to them.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the the risk was "very, very serious" as the mutated virus could be a "risk to the effectiveness" of a future vaccine.

She added that for this reason, it was imperative they were all killed.

The minks had a mutated form of Covid-19 (

Denmark is the world's biggest producer of mink fur, with the infected mink being detected in the northern Jutland region as well as other areas of Europe over the last few months.

Now, a mass killing of the creature across all farms in the country is set to happen as a precautionary measure, with police stating it would be taking place "as soon as possible".

It comes after five cases of the new mutated virus strain were discovered on mink farms in the country, and twelve people in total had become infected.

The mink fur trade is huge in Denmark (

The Prime Minister explained that reports are suggesting the mutated virus weakened the body's ability to form antibodies, thus it had a real possibility of dashing any vaccine hopes should the mutation widely spread.

"We have a great responsibility towards our own population, but with the mutation that has now been found, we have an even greater responsibility for the rest of the world as well," she said at a recent news conference.

This issue isn't just concerning for Denmark, but for mink farms across the world, given that over 50 million mink a year are bred for their fur, in countries like Poland, the Netherlands and China, too.

Mette Frederiksen said the situation was 'very, very serious' (

These aren't the first animals to have been killed en masse after Covid-19 outbreaks. We've seen similar situations on fur farms in the Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and the US, which have already resulted in millions of animal deaths.

Spain killed 100,000 mink back in July at a farm in Aragón province, while a similar number have also previously been exterminated in Danish farms.

Research is currently being undertaken to work out why they are so successfully catching and spreading the virus.

Featured Image Credit: Flickr

Topics: News, Coronavirus, Animals, Covid-19