COVID-19 Cases in Minks Prompt Call to Ban Netherlands Fur Farms Now

For Immediate Release:

29 April 2020


Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]


With Deadly Viruses Linked to Captive Wildlife, PETA Netherlands Stresses Need to Bring Forward Deadline for Phasing Out Mink Farming

London – Following reports that minks have tested positive for COVID-19 on two fur farms in the Netherlands, PETA Netherlands sent a letter (available here) this morning urging Carola Schouten, the Dutch agriculture minister, to bring forward the deadline for phasing out mink farming in that country, which is currently set for 2024.

The group points out that SARS and the novel coronavirus first infected humans who came into close contact with captive wildlife at live-animal markets – which represent a similar public health risk to that posed by fur farms, where minks are confined to cramped wire cages and diseases can easily spread. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that approximately 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans originated in other animals.

“Filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed, and injured minks are breeding grounds for disease,” says PETA Director of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi. “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.”

On fur farms, minks are imprisoned 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, such as by poisoning, gassing, drowning, or being skinned alive.

Because of the cruelty and environmental damage inherent in fur production, PETA and other animal protection groups are calling on the UK government to ban fur sales and imports. The proposal received cross-party support when it was debated in Parliament, and an early day motion on the matter has now been tabled.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit