Denmark has announced a mass culling of minks, who are being bred for their fur, over coronavirus fears.
As the country’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen revealed on Wednesday, the authorities have identified a new version of coronavirus after the virus had mutated on mink farms and spread to at least 12 people.
“We have a great responsibility towards our own population, but with the mutation that has now been found, we have an even greater responsibility for the rest of the world as well,” the prime minister said as he insisted there is a risk of the new strain spreading from Denmark to other countries.
“The mutated virus in mink may pose a risk to the effectiveness of a future vaccine,” Frederiksen added.
To reduce the risks associated with the mutated coronavirus, Denmark, which is one of the world’s biggest mink fur producers, decided to cull at least 15 million animals located on mink farms throughout the country.
To assist farms in the mass culling, the authorities will allegedly deploy the police, the army, and the home guard.
As the police warned, the cull should happen as soon as possible to reduce the risks of further transmission of the new virus to humans.
According to Mogens Jensen, the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, 41 mink farms were infected with the mutated version of the virus last month. This number has allegedly jumped to at least 207 since then.
According to the reports, Kopenhagen Fur, an association owned by Danish mink breeders, is responsible for more than a third of the world’s mink fur production.
Since fur is no longer a big hit in the Western world, the majority of fur produced on hundreds of mink farms across Denmark is exported to China and Hong Kong.