Nearly 600,000 mink killed in fur farm coronavirus cull

Mink on a fur farm. Photo: Dzīvnieku brīvība via Flickr
Mink on a fur farm. Photo: Dzīvnieku brīvība via Flickr

Over 571,000 mink have been killed so far in an effort to eradicate coronavirus from 13 fur farm in Noord-Brabant and Limburg, the government agency charged with the cull said on Friday.

The animals were gassed using carbon monoxide by fur farm staff under the supervision of the product safety board NVWA. The death toll includes 480,000 baby mink.

Judges gave the go ahead to the cull earlier this month. It was ordered after officials said at least two humans and several cats had been infected with coronavirus by the animals.

No more farm infections have yet been reported, but farm owners are required to hand in dead animals for testing.

Meanwhile, press photographer Olivier Middendorp has lost his court case to be allowed to photograph the cull, the NRC reported.

Judges accepted the NVWA’s statement that the presence of the photographer would present ‘too great a danger to public health’, the NRC said. The ruling has not yet been made public.

Middendorp had argued photographing the mass cull had ‘social significance’ given that it is likely to happen again, and that the fur farmers will be compensated for the loss of their animals.

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