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Denmark Plans to slaughter millions of minks to protect the well-being of their citizens

Colleen Guirand

November 16, 2020

Photo Credit: Ole Jensen/Getty Images

Published in The Catalyst Newspaper 2020

On November 9th, the Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, announced plans of slaughtering millions of minks in Denmark due to their ability to rapidly mutate the coronavirus.

With the continuation of creating a COVID-19 vaccine, many countries have been taking necessary precautions to keeping the number of cases low. Due to Denmark being a large producer of mink fur, an act to protect public safety was issued at once. According to The Guardian’s Sophie Kevany and wires, “Denmark is the world’s largest producer of mink fur and has 15 to 17 million animals on about 1,100 farms. According to reports, the latest figures from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, say Covid-19 infections have been found on more than 200 mink farms. The figures were confirmed by a Danish police press officer.”

Killing minks in farms is a major step for the country because there have been hundreds of citizens that contracted the virus. The Guardian’s Sophie Kevany and wires writes, “Reuters reported that Denmark’s health minister said about half of 783 infected people in northern Denmark, home to a large number of mink breeders, had been found to have infections stemming from the farms.”

Other countries besides Denmark are facing similar issues with minks and are actively looking for a solution. In the neighboring country, Sweden has reported to obtain COVID-19 outbreaks stemming from mink farms, but the official numbers are not known. According to The Guardian’s Sophie Kevany and wires, “In neighbouring Sweden, 10 mink farms have been identified as having Covid-19 outbreaks. There is no official tally of how many mink farms there are in Sweden, but Benny Andersson, CEO of Swedish animal rights organization, Djurens Rätt, puts the number at 35–40.” 

In the United States, there have been reports of outbreaks in 11 mink farms in states like Utah, Wisconsin, and Michigan. According to The Guardian’s Sophie Kevany and wires, “In the US, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presentation last week said 11 mink farms had Covid-19 outbreaks. The most recent list on the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website shows outbreaks on mink farms in Utah, Wisconsin and Michigan.

The American Veterinary Medical Association said at least 8,000 minks have died of infection with Sars-CoV-2 on farms in Utah. Nearly 3,400 mink are reported to have died from the coronavirus at a mink farm in Wisconsin. It added that the infection seems to be deadlier among older minks.”

As growing numbers of Danish reports began to spread around the world about minks being able to spread the coronavirus, United States scientists express an urge to gather more research. According to’s article “Jumping back and forth: anthropozoonotic and zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on mink farms,” that has not yet been peer-reviewed, that the virus was jumping between mink and humans. In Denmark, the government is describing a version of the virus that migrated from mink to humans.

Due to further research will be taken by scientist around the world, there is a concern that the virus will be spread from one species to another making the decision to end minks as a good one. According to the New York Time’s James Gorman’s Article “Mink and the Coronavirus: What We Know,” “Animal Protection Denmark, an advocacy group, recommended a long-term solution to the problem of mink and coronavirus: The right decision would be to end mink farming entirely and help farmers into other occupation that does not jeopardize public health and animal welfare.”

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