The Danish government has announced plans to cull all of the minks in the country’s mink farms to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus to humans. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that the minks are transmitting a new form of the coronavirus to humans, a situation that could spiral out of control.
According to Frederiksen, a coronavirus-mapping agency has detected a mutated virus in several patients. Twelve individuals in the northern part of the country were diagnosed with a mutant form of the coronavirus, which is believed to have been contracted from the minks.
Related: 1 million minks culled in Spain, the Netherlands
Denmark is among the leading countries in mink farming. Its minks are used to produce fur, which is supplied to other parts of the world. These animals have been found to be a cause for concern relating to the transmission of the virus. According to Health Minister Magnus Heunicke, about half of the 783 humans infected with the coronavirus in northern Denmark have links to the mink farms.
“It is very, very serious,” Frederiksen said. “Thus, the mutated virus in minks can have devastating consequences worldwide.”
The government is now estimating that about $785 million will be required to cull the 15 million minks in the country.
According to Mogens Gensen, Denmark’s minister for food, 207 mink farms are now infected. This number is alarming, considering that by this time last month, 41 farms were infected. Further, the virus has began spreading throughout the western peninsula. To date, Denmark has registered 50,530 confirmed coronavirus cases and 729 deaths. It is feared that if the situation is not contained, the numbers may get worse. To avoid this, Denmark started culling millions of minks last month, and the same is expected to continue for some time.
Via Huffington Post
Image via Jo-Anne McArthur