Monday 13 July 2020

Second person catches Covid-19 from a mink, minister is ‘preparing measures’

An anti fur farm protest in The Hague earlier this month. Photo: Peta.nl

A second fur farm worker in the Netherlands is now ‘extremely likely’ to have been infected with Covid-19 by a mink, farming minister Carola Schouten has told MPs.

In addition, the minister said, she will announce later this week what measures are to be taken at the country’s mink farms on the basis of findings by veterinary experts. ‘All possible measures are under consideration,’ the minister said.

The animal to human infection has taken place on one of the fur farms where mink were found earlier to have coronavirus, but the infection happened before this was known, the minister said.

In addition, seven of the 24 cats tested so far have now been found to have coronavirus antibodies, she said.

According to local paper Brabants Dagblad, vets have written to the minister criticising her strategy for dealing with coronavirus on fur farms and say that all the mink on some farms will have to be killed to prevent the virus spreading further.

They are particularly concerned about one fur farm in Deurne where the owner, his wife and daughter all have coronavirus.

He told the paper that he had repeatedly asked for an investigation after a large number of animals developed breathing problems and died. ‘I wear protection but am being exposed to the virus via my animals,’ he said. ‘What are the risks to my family and to people’s health?’

The farmer in question may well be the second person to be infected by a mink, the paper said.

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