The world’s largest weasel producer, Denmark, said it plans to destroy more than 15 million, due to fears that the Covid-19 mutation that moves from weasels to humans could endanger vaccines in the future. hybrid.
During a news conference Wednesday, the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen, said 12 people have been infected with the mutant virus and the weasel is now considered a public health risk.
“The mink virus mutation could put a vaccine at risk in the future,”; Frederiksen said.
She said the army, police and national emergency service would be mobilized to help the mink farms, which would destroy all Danish weasels.
Authorities and breeders have destroyed the animals over the past few weeks to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Reuters reported that the Danish Minister of Health said about half of the 783 infected people in northern Denmark, home to a large number of mink breeders, have been found infected with the disease. from the farms.
Denmark is the largest producer of mink feathers in the world and has between 15 and 17 million birds on about 1,100 farms. According to the reports, the latest figures from the Danish Department of Animal Health and Food show that Covid-19 infection was found on more than 200 mink farms. The figures were confirmed by a Danish police press officer.
Finnish fur auction house Magnus Ljung, CEO of Saga Furs, is following the Danish announcement. “It was a shock. They will kill all weasels in Denmark. They are talking about the risk of Covid-19 mutation in weasels, and from weasels to humans, and potentially affecting a vaccine in the future of humans ”.
Ljung estimates that the value of the 2020 mink population in Denmark is between 350 million euros and 400 million euros (£ 270 million – £ 360 million).
“They have control [Covid-19 mink infections] in the Netherlands and there are a few cases in Spain and in Sweden. But all is under control. [The Danish cull] is unexpected, for sure. Yes, it can happen in other countries. But I don’t want to speculate, ”said Ljung.
“What we really need to do is put a complete end to mink farming and re-train the farmers,” said Birgitte Damm, a policy advisor and veterinarian at the Danish Animal Protection Organization.
Speaking from Amsterdam, Dr. Joanna Swabe, Senior Director of Public Affairs at the International / European Humanitarian Association, said: “Denmark is one of the largest fur producers on the planet. therefore, all Danish mink farms have closed completely amid a growing Covid-19 infection which is a significant development.
“Although not a ban on fur farming, this move signals an end to suffering for the millions of animals locked in small rope cages on fur farms in Denmark for fashion purposes. Trivial fur that no one needs. We commend the Prime Minister of Denmark for her decision to take such a necessary and science-based step to protect Danish citizens from the deadly coronavirus. “
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