CNN 11 Nov 2020

Denmark recommends 15 million mink be killed


Mink farms across Europe are raising the alarm over the mutated coronavirus among the animals. Denmark is taking no chances by recommending farmers kill 15 million mink. However, some scientists argue the fear over the mutation is overblown. CNN's Isa Soares reports.

Denmark will cull its mink population after health officials there said a mutation of the coronavirus found in the animals spread to humans.
Denmark has announced a regional shutdown affecting about 280,000 people. The new measure comes a day after the government ordered the cull of all minks bred at fur farms due to coronavirus fears.

The regional shutdown comes a day after the government ordered the cull of all minks bred at fur farms following the discovery of the mutated virus. So far, 12 people in the north have been diagnosed with the new form of the virus. Health officials said they have not displayed more serious forms of the disease. Health Minister Magnus Heunicke had said half the 783 human coronavirus cases in northern Denmark ''are related'' to mink. Minister for Food Mogens Jensen said that at least 207 farms were now infected, up from 41 last month, and that the virus has spread to all of the western peninsula of Jutland. The government said that the culling of the country's estimated 15 million minks could cost up to 5 billion kroner ($785 million; €670 million). Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization's European regional director, said Denmark showed "determination and courage" in deciding to cull the mink population, given the "huge economic impact" it would have. Authorities have been calling for the culling of infected mink herds since June due to persisting outbreaks at mink farms. Denmark is the world's largest producer of mink skins, producing an estimated 17 million furs per year and employing around 4,000 people. Last year, the Danish mink pelt industry racked up exports of around $800 million. The industry association for Danish breeders called the culling a "black day for Denmark." The government has promised to compensate farmers.
The minks will be culled due to a massive COVID-19 outbreak in nearly 60 mink fur farms in North Jutland. In response, The Dutch government has ordered that all mink fur farms must permanently close by March 2021. In other news, Disney strengthens its content advisory for racism in many of their classic films, including Peter Pan and Dumbo. In Berlin, a coronavirus ad gone wrong.
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