Denmark to Kill up to 17 Million Minks Over Coronavirus Mutation Concerns
Following the spread of a mutation of the novel coronavirus to humans on a Danish fur farm, Denmark has announced plans to kill up to 17 million minks held captive at such facilities in an attempt to curb the spread of the mutated virus.
The new iteration of the virus could have “devastating consequences” worldwide, according to Mette Frederiksen, the country’s prime minister.
Kåre Mølbak, director at a Danish research institute, said, “The worst case scenario is a new pandemic, starting all over again out of Denmark” – a grim possibility PETA has been urging people to recognise for months.
Cramming animals together in filth led to the emergence of the novel coronavirus, and as this latest outbreak in Denmark proves, it also facilitates mutations.
Fur Farms Are Breeding Grounds for Disease
Filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed, and injured minks are breeding grounds for disease. The viruses that cause SARS and COVID-19 first infected humans who came into close contact with captive wildlife at live-animal markets – which represent a public health risk similar to that posed by fur farms.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.
A wet market
A mink fur farm
As in the case of live-animal meat markets, on fur farms, minks and other animals killed for their skin are confined to cramped wire cages adjacent to one another, making it very easy for infectious diseases to spread through the exchange of urine, excrement, pus, and blood. Animals with infections, sores, and festering, open wounds caused by the wire flooring they stand on are a common sight. Fur farmers and handlers are among those who most commonly suffer from the zoonotic bacterial disease tularaemia.
Fur Farming Is Cruel
Humans have no right to imprison minks in barren cages for their entire lives. Unable to engage in natural behaviour, they often go mad from the confinement, and some even self-cannibalise, chewing on their own limbs or tails as a result of the constant psychological and physical torment. They’re killed in gruesome ways, including poisoning, gassing, drowning, or even being skinned alive.
What You Can Do
This isn’t the first time minks have been killed over COVID-19 fears in recent months, as fur farms in the Netherlands have seen the spread of the novel coronavirus from minks to humans as well. The Dutch parliament has since voted overwhelmingly in favour of banning the breeding of minks by the end of this year.
If we want to tackle this virus and prevent future pandemics, we have to close fur farms everywhere. They are relentlessly cruel to animals and pose a serious threat to human health. PETA is appealing to Italy’s prime minister to close the 13 remaining mink farms in that country. Will you join us and send him a message, too?