As per a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, more than 1 million mink will be killed in Denmark. The report says that samples of 34 mink were taken when the Danish Patient Safety Authority identified a patient diagnosed with the coronavirus and associated with a mink farm in North Jutland. The analysis conducted by the Danish State Serum Institute and the Danish government confirmed the presence of the virus among the farm’s mink. According to a tally by the John Hopkins University, Denmark has a total of 33,593 cases with 675 fatalities.
The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) and the Danish health authorities came up with various measures to curb the wave of the infection. In late August, the Dutch government decided to bring an end to mink farming in the country by three years. However, they decided that it was justified to let infected animals survive because the risk of spreading infection to humans seems minimal. It was in late September when the cases at Danish mink farms soared. The reports says, “On October 1, 2020, Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mogens Jensen, noted 41 mink farms had been infected with coronavirus in North Jutland, and an additional 20 herds were under suspicion”. However, a week later the number rose up to 58 mink farms in North Jutland and more than 46 farms under suspicion.
Jensen stated, “We have continuously launched initiatives to manage and contain the spread of infection. In view of the recent large increase, we must unfortunately state that it has not been sufficient to prevent continued spread of infection among the North Jutland mink herds”. Talking about the decision to kill mink, he said, “it is the right thing to do, even though it is sad for both animals and humans”. Executive Vice President and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases Preparedness of the Danish State Serum Institute, Kåre Mølbak said that as per the doctor mink farmers are more prone to catch the virus than doctors and nurses.