‘End fur farming in the Netherlands, before one more mink or worker picks up this deadly virus.’
In a letter addressing the parliament, the Dutch Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten admitted that a farmer “likely” contracted coronavirus from an infected mink.
According to Reuters, Schouten accepted that her office’s initial assessment of humans not getting infected by animals was wrong and a worker had tested positive for a strain of COVID-19 similar to that found in the mink on the farm.
These new research results have a major impact on the owners, families and employees of mink companies as well as on the local communities,” she wrote in the letter.
“I am therefore in close contact with all these parties involved.”
Last month, minks on two fur farms in the Netherlands were found to be infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a variant of coronavirus responsible for respiratory illness Covid-19.
Now with an animal- human transmission case plausible, authorities have increased measures to contain the virus from spreading including screening of all mink farms in the Netherlands, and mandatory protective clothing for all workers.
Netherlands has been among the biggest fur farming nations in the world behind Denmark and China. In 2016, the country had some 160 fur farms producing five million pelts a year. However, sustained pressure from animal right organizations led the Dutch government to ban the industry in 2013 with existing farms granted a deadline till 2024 to shut their operations.
Ban fur farms
Reports of minks contracting the virus and potentially transmitting it to humans have further renewed calls for banning fur farming in the Netherlands and across the world.
“Filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed, and injured minks are breeding grounds for disease,” said Mimi Bekhechi, PETA director of international programs.
“In the face of a global crisis stemming from the wildlife trade, the Netherlands shouldn’t wait another four years to shut down its last remaining fur farms – it must take action now.”
In a separate statement she added: “Now coronavirus is spreading through fur farms, the government should not wait any longer to close them down.”
“Peta is calling on minister Schouten to end fur farming in the Netherlands, before one more mink or worker picks up this deadly virus.”
Share this story to reveal the dangers of breeding minks for commercial use.
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