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A Danish report showed that COVID-19 mutations were found in 12 people in the north of the country infected with mink.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark – The Danish Prime Minister said Wednesday that the government wants to destroy all 15 million weasels on Danish farms to minimize the risk of them passing on COVID-19 to humans.

Mette Frederiksen said a report from the government agency mapping coronavirus in Denmark pointed to a mutation in the virus found in 12 people in the north of the country infected with mink. Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said half of the 783 human COVID-19 infections in northern Denmark were “related” to weasels.

“It’s very, very serious,” says Frederiksen. “Hence, the mink virus mutation could have devastating consequences around the world.”

Denmark is one of the world’s major mink fur exporters, producing an estimated 17 million furs per year. Kopenhagen Fur, a cooperative of 1,500 Danish breeders, accounts for 40% of global mink production. Most of its exports go to China and Hong Kong.

According to government estimates, the country’s destruction of 15 million weasels could cost up to 5 billion kroner ($ 785 million). National police head Thorkild Fogde said, “it will happen as soon as possible.”

Denmark’s Food Minister, Mogens Jensen, said 207 farms are now infected, up from 41 farms last month, and the disease has spread to the entire western Jutland peninsula.

Last month, Denmark started destroying millions of weasels in the north of the country. The government has promised to compensate farmers.

The country has recorded 50,530 confirmed COVID-19 infections and 729 deaths.

A total of 207 out of 1,139 fur farms in Denmark were contaminated with COVID-19, which prompted the announcement. As a result, millions of weasels will be killed.

Animal Welfare Organization Humane Society International applauds the prime minister for taking “a necessary and science-based step to the protection of Danish citizens,” and said it hopes the loss of too many mink because the coronavirus makes the fur farms out of business.

“Although the deaths of millions of weasels – whether destroyed by COVID-19 or killed for their feathers – are an animal welfare tragedy, fur breeders now have a clear chance. to get out of this cruel and dying industry and choose a more humane and sustainable industry instead of a livelihood, ”said Humane Society International-Europe spokesman Joanna Swabe.

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