Mink farmer knud vest. Inside, the skin is prepared. in Jyllinge, Denmark, on Thursday, Dec.. . 3, 2020. Photographer: Carsten Snejbjerg / Bloomberg
(Bloomberg) – At Knud Vests Farm, an hour’s drive west of Copenhagen, a deadly silence pervades unusual streams of fresh air. Rows and rows of cages are empty and nothing is left but mud and hay. The smell of manure has disappeared, along with the animals.
For breeders of small, furry European minks like the 74-year-old Danes, the Covid-19 pandemic posed more than just a threat to their health. The past few weeks have wiped out its business for more than five decades, sparking a political crisis in Denmark that has turned into a cautionary story about the potential of the coronavirus to exist as a threat.
Earlier last month, the Danish government called on all mink farmers to kill their stocks because they feared a mutated form of the virus was spreading faster than previously thought. Vest and his family carefully began the extermination of 23. 000 animals while opposition parties competed against Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
« When I first heard about it, I didn’t believe it. « Weste said last week on his farm. This severe overreaction has actually done what animal rights activists have been trying to achieve for years. â ????
Denmark weathered the first wave of the pandemic pretty well in the spring as a swift lockdown helped stop the spread of the virus while global attention was focused on neighboring Sweden’s decision to keep its economy open.
This work has been undermined by a scandal over the government’s handling of a cull of 17 million mink, which is roughly three for every person in the Scandinavian country. Opponents say the extermination of all healthy mink was a violation of the Danish constitution.
But beyond the political outcry, health experts say Denmark is an alarm bell that the world must heed. So far it is the only country that has got rid of all its mink, but from November. 20 The World Health Organization said the most worrying stress associated with animals is no longer circulating in humans.
??????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????? said Marion Koopmans, a virologist at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Keeping an eye on the animal side of the virus is a pressing question, and understanding what’s going on is a high priority for me. â ????
In many countries, including Russia and the United States, mink is bred and skinned for their fur. S.. . So far, eight have reported Covid-19 in mink breeding to the World Organization for Animal Health, the WHO announced in December. 3.
The New York Times reported on Nov.. . 29 that the Ministry of Agriculture ordered quarantines of infected farms, but stopped at mass clubs. Thousands of minks have apparently died of coronavirus infections on American farms, the newspaper said.
In Europe, the Netherlands have put forward plans to shut down the mink industry by 2024 following outbreaks earlier this year. Denmark has more at stake, however.
Until a few weeks ago, the country was the world’s largest producer of mink fur. Copenhagen Fur, the largest fur auction house, announced that it would cease operations after 90 years.
Indeed, the past few months have been particularly troubling for the country. It all started in June when the Danes gradually returned to normal after a national lockdown. A local outbreak of infection in the northwest was on a local mink farmer and several of his 10. 000 minks returned.
Prime Minister Frederiksen ordered all minks on the farm and two neighboring minks to be removed. But it wasn’t until October that the threat became more urgent when outbreaks spread across the western Jutland peninsula.
Tests by health officials showed the virus had mutated as it migrated from humans to animals and back again. A warning from government advisors prompted the prime minister to order the cull in November. 4 and police and military were sent to supervise the farmers. Frederiksen said the burden is serious – not just for Denmark, but for how the world is dealing with coronaviruses. â ????
This week the U. . K. . banned visitors from Denmark, although WHO is now advising against travel or trade restrictions.
The problem for the government, however, was that it did not have the necessary laws to order the killing of healthy mink. Frederiksen said she did not know the order was unlawful and proceeded with the cull.
At that point it turned into a full blown scandal and the Minister in charge of Veterinary Affairs resigned. There are still daily protests in front of Parliament in Copenhagen against mink eradication as well as against coronavirus restrictions.
On Nov.. . 25, Frederiksen dismissed claims that she intentionally broke the law as absurd. one???? A day later, in a tearful appearance on national television after visiting a local farm, she admitted that she could have dealt better with the crisis.
« There is a reason to apologize for this process because mistakes were made and the unrest was there. « she told TV2. It was an extremely rough process for the families and the mink farmers. â ????
The problem was that the speed of the cull led to additional errors and embarrassment. Trucks filled with dead mink dumped carcasses on the streets while some live animals were stuffed into containers of dead mink. Some who were buried in mass graves in Jutland reappeared due to gas in their rotting bodies.
Meanwhile, compensation for mink farmers like Vest is under negotiation and the government is enacting laws that will effectively ban mink cultivation later in 2021. Frederiksen hopes that farmers can rebuild the industry once the ban is lifted in 2022.
Vest toured his property and remembered better times when Santo Versace, the older brother of fashion icon Gianni Versace, came to his farm from Roskilde Fjord sometime around 2005. The couple discussed the quality of the Danish mink fur while sharing an almond cake.
It will take at least seven years for the industry to revive. Many of the closed farms will never see mink again, he said.
« It felt like I was under anesthesia, » Vest said of the day the cull was announced. We went into survival mode where we had to solve the task the government had given us. But when we emptied the farm it was like walking around in a trance. â ????
Mink, fur farming, mink industry in Denmark, Denmark, coronavirus, cull, government
World News – CA – Death of fur industry reveals Covids lingering threat – BNN Bloomberg
Donnez votre avis et abonnez-vous pour plus d’infos
Vidéo du jour: