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Coronavirus could drive the last nail into the mink fur trade

October 18, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

As coronavirus tears through the world's mink farms, the pandemic is accelerating the shuttering of a controversial industry.

Earlier this month, the Danish government ordered the country's mink farms to cull more than 1 million of the animals following a series of Covid-19 outbreaks, and thousands of mink have died at farms in the US states of Utah and Wisconsin.

A total 3. 1 million mink were farmed in the United States in 2018, according to animal welfare charity Humane Society International (HSI).

In July, Spanish authorities ordered a cull of nearly 100,000 of the animals for the same reason, and in May the Netherlands mandated coronavirus testing at mink farms after suspecting that one of the animals had passed the virus to a human.

HSI said that 60 million mink were farmed for fur around the world in 2018, with China accounting for 20. 7 million of the total.

A recent study conducted in the Netherlands found "strong evidence" that at least two people from four mink farms in the country contracted coronavirus from the animals, and study co-author Marion Koopmans, a virologist at ErasmusMC in Rotterdam, said that her team's research has confirmed mink-to-human transmission.

In the Netherlands, there is now ongoing transmission between mink farms, as well as evidence that the virus has been circulating for some time at some facilities, said Koopmans.

Mink farmers will receive considerable compensation, which has stoked public opposition at a time of economic hardship for many, but the decision has accelerated the end for mink farming in the country and saved millions of animal lives, said Swabe.

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