Saturday, 15 May, 2021

Coronavirus: Irish mink farms told animals will be culled

November 2020 shows mink looking out from their cage at the farm near Naestved Denmark belonging to Henrik Nordgaard Hansen and Ann Mona Kulsoe Larsen who have to kill off their herd which consists of 3000 mother mink and thei Mink-Related COVID-19 Mutations Detected in 9 More Countries AFP 2020 MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN
Sandy Nunez | 22 November, 2020, 19:10

This would have outlawed the continued operation of mink farms in the midlands county of Laois, in Kerry in the southwest, and Donegal in the northwest.

All minks in the seven municipalities have been culled, totalling 10.2 million, and the slaughter is still ongoing in other parts of the country.

Mogens Jensen announced he was stepping on Wednesday on social networking, saying he had the aid of a parliament majority. He released a statement in which he said his ministry had made a mistake in ordering the destruction of all minks in Denmark.

Wisconsin, Utah and MI lead as the three largest farmed mink industries in the nation, with OR taking fourth place. There is no evidence that the mutated version is more unsafe but the government moved quickly out of safety, though it lacked the legal basis to order the killing of healthy animals too.

Earlier in November, the government ordered in a national televised press conference led by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, that the country's entire mink population of 17 million bred for their fur, be culled, after a mutated form of coronavirus that can spread to humans was found on mink farms, raising concerns over jeopardising future vaccines. The risky coronavirus variant has been found on fur farms in the US, Sweden, Italy and Spain.

They wrote, "We do not wish to spread alarm; however, we are deeply concerned that these facilities could, knowingly or unknowingly, be contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in the state, or could even house or come to house new mutations of COVID-19, like the one discovered in Denmark".

"No further cases of mink variant with cluster 5 have been detected since September 15, which is why the State Serum Institute assesses that this variant has most likely become extinct", the ministry said in a statement.

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And he considered that this finding makes "expect longer periods of protection" when a vaccine is available. However, there are hopes after the study indicated that reinfection is extremely rare.

University College London Genetics Institute director Francois Balloux told The Guardian that concerns over "concerns over Cluster 5 may have been overestimated at the time", but that doesn't mean Denmark's cull was wrongly conceived.

Since then, all minks on farms in these areas have been killed, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (FVST) said, but it noted that there are still 25 farms suspected to have unconfirmed cases of Covid-19. The mutation was not really the justification for me.

It said the advice also includes strict adherence to the HSE public health guidelines on COVID 19.

While the authorities have not yet received results of the animal tests, it said that COVID-19 cases were confirmed among people connected with the farms.

Ireland said Thursday that it was planning a nationwide cull of mink on its commercial farms, which are reported to house around 100,000 animals.

In a joint statement, owners of the mink farms said the government decision "has left three families in rural Ireland devastated and without a livelihood".

In Sweden, health agency officials on Thursday stated that several people who work in the mink industry had also tested positive for coronavirus.