After a series of Covid-19 outbreaks among animals in the Netherlands, the Dutch government has ordered local farms to cull over one million mink. As per the latest order, any mink farm, within eight kilometres of a farm or herd that has confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus, will have to get culled.
The most recent outbreak is believed to have started in June when a Covid-19 patient was linked with a mink farm in North Jutland, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Following the USDA’s report, the Danish Patient Safety Authority started collecting samples from mink farms across the country, CNN reported. By early October, mink on almost 60 North Jutland farms alone had tested positive for the deadly virus. An additional 46 farms are currently under suspicion.
During the summer months, the Dutch government introduced a number of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus among livestock, however, the cases had already surged dramatically by September.
“We have continuously launched initiatives to manage and contain the spread of infection,” Mogens Jensen, the Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries told CNN. “In view of the recent large increase, we must unfortunately state that it has not been sufficient to prevent continued spread of infection among the North Jutland mink herds.”
“It is a difficult decision that the government has made, but we fully support it,” Tage Pedersen, chairman of the Danish Mink Breeders Association, told CNN. “In recent weeks, we have all experienced that more and more farms in North Jutland have been infected, and no one has been able to explain the increase. Human health must come first.”
Mink breeders in the Netherlands will receive compensation for the loss of their herd as well as operation losses. The entire culling process will be taken care of by the the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the Danish Emergency Management Agency.
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