Denmark to cull 17 million minks due to COVID-19 mutation found in farms 1 year ago

Denmark to cull 17 million minks due to COVID-19 mutation found in farms

The country is home to between 15 and 17 million minks

Denmark has vowed to cull the country's entire population of minks - up to 17 million - after a mutation of the coronavirus found in the animals had spread to humans.

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Scientists believe this poses a risk to finding any possible future coronavirus vaccine, the Danish Prime Minister said.

There have been numerous Covid-19 outbreaks at mink farms across Denmark - the world's largest exporter of mink skins. The animal's produce makes up around 1% of Denmark's GDP.

Despite efforts to cull infected species, cases of Covid-19 have risen in the farms, leading authorities to suggest more drastic and deadly measures.

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According to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, scientists discovered strains of the coronavirus in humans and minks which showed a decreased sensitivity to antibodies.

It is believed that this could potentially limit how effective a future coronavirus vaccine is.

minks culled in denmark due to covid-19 fears Mink produce makes up 1% of Denmark's GDP. (Photo: iStock)
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Speaking at a press conference earlier today, prime minister Frederiksen said:

"The mutated virus in minks may pose a risk to the effectiveness of a future vaccine.

"It is necessary to cull all the minks."

These thoughts were echoed by Danish health minister Magnus Heunicke, who said: "Studies have shown that the mutations may affect the current candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine.

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He continued: "It is a threat to the development of coronavirus vaccines. That is why it is important that we make a national effort."

Denmark is home to between 15 and 17 million minks. The health minister added that, of the 783 infected people in the north of Denmark, almost half were infected with a virus strain stemming from minks.

Mink infection is not limited to Denmark. They have also been culled in Spain and the Netherlands after the infection rate grew in farms.

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