17m mink to be culled in Denmark after coronavirus mutation spreads to people – Totally Vegan Buzz
COVID-19 positive mink 'likely' to have infected Dutch farm worker
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“The mutated virus carries the risk that a future vaccine will not work as it should.”

Denmark has decided to cull its entire population of up to 17m mink after a mutation of the coronavirus found in the animals spread to people.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who made the announcement on Wednesday, cited a government report which said the mutated virus had been found to weaken the body’s ability to form antibodies.

This development means the current vaccines under development for Covid-19 could potentially become ineffective.

‘Very, very serious’

Describing the situation as “very, very serious”, Frederiksen told a news conference: “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.”

She added: “Due to the discovery of a mutated infection in mink, which weakens the ability to form antibodies, resolute action is needed. It is necessary to kill all mink.

 “The mutated virus carries the risk that a future vaccine will not work as it should.”

The mutated virus has been found in 12 people who recently caught the infection from mink in north Denmark. Half of the 783 human Covid-19 cases in the region “are related to mink,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said.

‘Pandemic could restart in Denmark’

Denmark has already culled more than a million mink since June, but despite its best efforts, outbreaks at mink farms in the country have persisted.

Kaare Molbak, director at the State Serum Institute, warned, that the situation now has become so grim that in the “worst-case scenario, the pandemic will restart, this time in Denmark”.

“That’s why we have to take this extremely seriously,” he added.

Catastrophe for the industry

 According to government estimates, culling the country’s mink population will be a “very large undertaking” and would not only take several days but also could cost up to $785 million.

While mink farmers will receive full compensation for the cull, Tage Pedersen, chairman of the association of Danish mink breeders, said: “We must of course not be the cause of a new pandemic… but the government’s decision is a catastrophe for the industry and for Denmark.”

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