Denmark to mass kill one million mink

Mink farm, photo: Bont voor Dieren
Mink farm, photo: Bont voor Dieren

Denmark will kill around 1 million mink after finding coronavirus infections among the animals at farms that breed them for their fur, authorities said. With 1200 mink farms, the country is the world’s largest producer of mink skin.

Mink are wild animals. They’re excellent swimmers and divers and left in the wild, they can become five years old. In farms, they never experience water or life outside their cage and are killed when they’re around six months.

The Ministry of Environment and Food said in a statement issued on Thursday evening that they will murder all the animals on the affected farms. They added that they would also kill all animals on farms within an 8 km (5 miles) radius of a farm with infected mink.

This means that a total of 1 million mink will be gassed, a painful way of dying for the animals.

In May, Spain ordered the culling of all 93,000 mink at a farm after finding that most of the mink there were infected with the coronavirus.

The Netherlands reported a similar outbreak and started a mass killing of almost 2 million mink after two people were reported to have been infected by mink. However, such cases of animal-to-human transmission are extremely rare.

Willem Vermaat of the Dutch animal welfare organization Animal Rights said during a protest in June against the mass killing of mink: “When people get sick, we do everything to keep them alive. When animals get sick, we kill them. Mink are creatures with feelings. A mink is not a something, but a someone,”

“We shouldn’t put anyone in confinement in small, bare cages. We shouldn’t be gassing anyone. We should not treat anyone as a product,” he continued.

Vermaat also addressed the way the animals are being killed: “And death by gassing – a painful death often. Minks are thrown into a container of gas, where they slowly suffocate. It can last longer than 10 minutes before they die because minks are aquatic animals – even though they have never been allowed to live as aquatic animals in the fur industry – and can hold their breath for a long time.”

Footage of Animal Rights inside a mink gas chamber.

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