Around 100,000 mink on Irish fur farms to culled over coronavirus fears

Ireland signals likely end to fur farming with cull of 120,000 mink

Ireland signals likely end to fur farming with cull of 120,000 mink

The Danish agriculture minister stepped down this week over the country's handling of the situation and an illegal order by the government to cull the country's farmed mink population.

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.

The department said in a statement it was acting on expert advice that minks "should be culled to minimise or eliminate this risk".

Veterinary authorities said earlier this month they had ordered tests in 18 farms in four administrative regions of the country.

Denmark's Agriculture Minister Mogens Jensen announced Wednesday he was stepping down due to mishandling a cull of the Danish mink population.

In 2019, the Irish Animal Liberation Front claimed to have breached security at the largest mink farm in Laois and "liberated" about 300 animals, but the owners said no minks escaped. There are three functioning fur farms in the country. There is no evidence that the mutated version is more risky but the government moved quickly out of safety, though it lacked the legal basis to order the killing of healthy animals too.

This comes after a mutated strain of the virus was found on a mink farm in Denmark.

The Danish health ministry said in a press release Thursday that no further cases of the C5 variant have been detected since September 15, and that this variant is now thought to be extinct.

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Research from a Danish public health body, the Statens Serum Institut, had suggested that C5 might hinder the effectiveness of a vaccine against COVID-19. A decision taken after the discovery of a mutated version of Covid-19 transmitted by minks to 12 Danes.

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.

Cantu-Schomus also assured that there have been no deaths reported for mink in OR yet.

It said this is available to view along with specific protocols for livestock farmers regarding TB testing and the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 on the dedicated COVID hub of the Department website. This variant of the virus could resist a future vaccine.

Many Irish people might be surprised to learn that mink fur farms exist in Ireland at all.

It is understood that the farms will be allowed to pelt the remaining animals to fill outstanding orders.

Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization's regional director for Europe, described mink farms on Thursday as "a reservoir where the coronavirus is thriving".

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