New Bird Flu Mutation in Minks Prompts PETA to Call For Shutdown of Fur Farms

Helsinki – Following reports that bird flu – including recent findings of a new mutation of the virus – has been detected on Finnish mink farms and tens of thousands of minks are slated to be culled as a result, PETA rushed a letter to Prime Minister Petteri Orpo to call for the immediate and permanent closure of all fur farms in Finland – one of the biggest fur-producing countries in Europe.

PETA points out that fur farming involves cramming large numbers of animals together in rows of wire cages, where bodily fluids such as urine, excrement, pus, and blood can easily pass from one to another. This encourages the presence of bird flu, COVID-19, and other dangerous zoonotic pathogens which can – and do – mutate and spread.

“Even without considering the current bird flu outbreak, filthy fur farms packed with sick, stressed, and injured minks are breeding grounds for infectious disease,” says PETA Vice President for Europe Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA is calling on Prime Minister Orpo to shut down these cruel and dangerous facilities before they’re responsible for the next pandemic.”

On fur farms, animals are typically forced to live in wire cages so small they can’t take more than a few steps. Many of them suffer from broken bones, untreated infections, or missing legs or eyes. These animals are electrocuted, gassed, poisoned, or drowned, and some are alive when workers skin them. In addition to being inherently cruel to animals and dangerous to human health, fur farming emits huge volumes of greenhouse gases, pollutes soil and waterways with waste runoff, and gobbles up massive amounts of land, water, crops, and energy.

Finland lags behind many European countries that have already banned fur farming, including Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit or follow the group on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram.


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