Denmark says mutated coronavirus from mink farms `most likely eradicated`

The Statesman Journal

"I enjoyed this before, I repent it and accept accountability for this, particularly I repent this to the numerous mink farmers who've been in a really unhappy situation".

COVID outbreaks in mink farms, aside from in the United States and Denmark, have also been reported in the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy, and Greece according to the World Health Organization, and Poland has begun testing mink for the virus this week.

The contamination of minks is not new, with breeders in several countries, including the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United States, reporting cases.

It is understood the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan wrote to the Department of Agriculture recommending the move, after a mutation of the virus was linked to animals in Denmark.

Earlier in the week Veterinary Ireland urged the closure of Irish mink fur farms and speaking in the Dail yesterday Paul Murphy echoed the call for them to be closed rapidly.

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

Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice has said that a planned cull of mink farms in Ireland should be extended to include wild populations.

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Cantu-Schomus also assured that there have been no deaths reported for mink in OR yet. Denmark is not the only country to have its fur farms affected by Covid-19.

The farmers will be allowed use the remaining mink to make fur but there will be no further breeding of mink in Ireland once they are gone. The order for the cull stated that all minks had to be culled, healthy or not.

"The Department of Agriculture continues to engage with the mink farmers to consider the next steps", the department spokesperson said.

Denmark's health ministry said on Thursday that a new, mutated strain of the novel coronavirus stemming from mink farms is "most likely" extinct.

The Danish minister in charge of farming resigned Wednesday as he took the blame for the government ordering the culling of all farmed mink without having the necessary legislation in place first.

Noting that no new cases had been detected since Sept 15, the government said most of the strict restrictions it had imposed on Nov 5 on seven municipalities in the North Jutland region, home to 280,000 people, would be lifted on Friday.

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