Denmark Halts Mink Cull But Millions Have Been Killed

Posted by Candy Swift on December 30th, 2020

Recently, Denmark decided to cull mink all over the country. This decision caused the world to shock. So why do they do this?

As early as June this year, there were reports in Denmark, the Netherlands and other European countries that cases of mink infection with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) were found in local mink farms. At that time, scientists expressed concern that the viruses may spread and mutate in mink herds. This hypothesis has unfortunately come true.

“In fact, SARS-CoV-2 has been found to have been spreading between animals and people, including mink. What is worrying this time is that in the virus infection between Danish mink and humans, the virus has mutated.” said a scientist experting at coronavirus research at Creative Biolabs.

In this case, five clusters of variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been found in the affected minks. The Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) has designated these as clusters 1–5. Among these variants, 7 mutations have been confirmed in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, including del 69-70 (a deletion of the histidine and valine residues at the 69th and 70th position in the protein), Y453F (a change from tyrosine to phenylalanine at position 453, inside the spike protein's receptor-binding domain), I692V (isoleucine to valine at position 692), and M1229I (methionine to isoleucine at position 1229).

The Danish government believed that the emergence of these variants may threaten the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines currently being developed, which means that further strict control of farmed mink was required. The decision to cull the country’s 17 million farmed minks was announced by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on November 4.

Most people think of Denmark as a country full of humanists. Earlier, Prime Minister announced in Parliament that the government planned to spend about 11 million kroner (.6 million) to buy the last 4 circus elephants in Denmark as the government moves to ban wild animals in circuses.

On the other hand, Denmark is one of the largest mink exporters in the world. In 2019, the value of Danish mink exports was about 0 billion, and mink is Denmark’s fourth-largest agricultural export. It is conceivable that for such a large scale of mink farming and leather clothing production, Denmark will of course be the target of the world's major animal welfare organizations.

Under this epidemic, Denmark decided to euthanize all minks with carbon dioxide before November 16. The large number exceeded the capacity of incinerators, and the dead bodies were disposed of in landfills.

Afterward, the Danish government withdrew this order on November 10. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen admitted that this decision lacked a legal basis, and apologized for it, and urged everyone to stay calm, for the most important thing is to work together to help Denmark survive the epidemic. It is reported that the farmers will continue to cull minks infected, but will not kill healthy animals. According to local media statistics, about 2.5 million minks have been killed and mink farmers will receive all compensation due to the killing.

Candy Swift

About the Author

Candy Swift
Joined: June 6th, 2020
Articles Posted: 21

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