On Wednesday, the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, made the announcement that more than 14 million minks are currently being culled in Denmark due to COVID-19 spreading rapidly at mink farms in the country.
”Mink production is an outdated industry that should be banned solely considering the animals’ welfare.
Image: Jo-Anne McArthur / Djurrattsalliansen
With approximately 14 million minks trapped in small caged the size of a microwave, Denmark has the second largest production of mink in the world only surpassed by China.
Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection Denmark, Esben Sloth said:
“Keeping wild animals trapped in small cages, only to be used for unnecessary luxury products like fur, is appalling. Mink production is an outdated industry that should be banned solely considering the animals’ welfare.
”The current pandemic has made it clear that we have to take the danger of transmitting this disease very seriously. Transmission of the disease is of danger not only to the local farms but to the whole world. The mink industry is outdated, and the politicians should ban the production of mink in Denmark, as we have seen in other European countries.
“COVID-19 was probably derived from a wet market in Wuhan, China, and now we are at risk it might mutate on Danish mink farms. We must reconsider the way we interact with animals.”
The Danish Veterinary Consortium, under the guidance of infectious diseases institute ‘SSI’ and the University of Copenhagen, has warned that a mutated variant of Covid-19 originating from the mink farms is particularly concerning.
Virus strains in humans and in mink has showed decreased sensitivity against antibodies, potentially lowering the efficacy of future vaccines, according to the Danish Health authorities.
Though several countries in the EU have decided to ban the production of mink, Denmark continues to allow the industry to breed and produce minks, only pausing production now to cull their mink population.
For animals, human health and the planet, we need to end the global wildlife trade.