Millions Of Minks Set To Be Slaughtered Due To Coronavirus

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Adam Barnes General Assignment Reporter
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Danish authorities said Monday that veterinarians and farmers in northern Denmark have begun killing at least 2.5 million minks after 63 farms reported coronavirus outbreaks, the Associated Press reported.

Flemming Kure Marker of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said the agency is culling the infected minks while breeders within 5 miles of farms with outbreaks are responsible for killing their non-infected animals, the Associated Press reported. The culling began Oct. 8 and could last months.

A farmer refused to let authorities into his farm a day after the culling began and they had to cut a padlock, police spokesman Henrik Skals told the AP. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said farmers forced to put down non-infected animals will get 100% compensation, but breeders who have infected minks in their herds will be given less.

Denmark produces roughly 17 million furs per year, making it one of the largest exporters in the world, AP reported. A majority of the furs go to China and Hong Kong. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Were Thousands Of Birds Killed By Coronavirus Or 5G Networks In Italy?) 

Tage Pedersen, chairman of Danish Fur Breeders Association, told the AP that the coronavirus pandemic could “threaten the entire profession.”

“All breeders are right now in a huge amount of uncertainty and frustration over this ‘meteor’ that has fallen on our heads,” Pedersen added.

The Dutch government said in August that the Netherlands will end mink farming in 2021, the AP added. Nearly one-third of Dutch mink farms had been infected by COVID-19 at the time.

In the U.S., Utah farmers have lost over 8,000 minks and nearly 2,000 minks have died from COVID-19 in Wisconsin, CNN reported.