Thursday 24 September 2020

Tens of thousands of mink to be gassed, as Covid-19 is found on 10 fur farms

One of the farms which has been infected with the virus. Photo: Ramon van Flymen / Hollandse-Hoogte

Officials and farm workers on Saturday began the process of gassing thousands of mink on 10 fur farms where coronavirus has been found, and which may have spread from the animals to humans.

On Friday evening, judges ruled that the farm clearance could go ahead, despite protests by animal rights groups. They said the animals should be placed in quarantine.

But the court ruled that killing all the animals was the only option to guarantee public safety. On two farms, 90% of the mink were found to be infected.

‘Ten or more sources of the virus in a declining pandemic is a risk we don’t want to take,’ Christiaane Burshke, the farm ministry’s most senior veterinary advisor, told the Volkskrant. ‘We are relaxing the rules for people but if farms remain a source, that poses a major risk to humans.’

Coronavirus has been found in mink on 10 farms so far, nine in Noord-Brabant and one in Limburg. The Dutch fur industry is concentrated in the south of the country.

The first farm to be emptied of animals is in the village of Deurne where infected mink are thought to have passed the virus to the owner, who subsequently gave the virus to members of his family.

The Netherlands is currently phasing out fur farming, and all farms are due to be shut down by 2024.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.