The Danish government has been forced to abandon plans which would have seen millions of minks culled en masse.
The Danish government had originally proposed emergency legislation to cull all of the minks in the country’s mink farms, which are concentrated in the West of Denmark. The Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, had proposed the culling to try and stop the spread of a mutated form of coronavirus in the country. This novel coronavirus that has apparently been found in at least one human already, is said to have come from the millions of minks that live in fur farms in Denmark.
Whilst the Prime Minister advocated culling the minks to prevent the virus from spreading, mink farmers expressed dismay over fears for their own livelihoods. Many farmers have worried that a cull could spell an end to mink farming in Denmark but it is the opinion of some animal rights activists such as PETA that mink farming should end in the country.
Other countries where minks are farmed for their fur have reacted differently to the threat of contagion. In the Netherlands, mink farming was set to end permanently in 2024 anyway. This date was brought forward in response to the news of the novel coronavirus and mink farms have now been closed in the country. Sweden is not expected to close its mink farms, mainly because it is now the season in which minks tend to be killed for their fur anyway. Poland, Ireland, and Finland are not expected to close their mink farms either but all of these countries have been testing the animals for Covid-19.
Resistance to the legislation in the Danish parliament arose over worries that there was no merit to culling the minks and concern over the loss of jobs that culling would bring about. However, the blocking of this legislation and subsequent saving of the minks has not been received well by everybody. Images often emerge online of minks kept in inhumane conditions and what animal activists around the country really want is an end to mink farming.
Fancy a break from the stress of the pandemic? Check out Denmark’s beautiful fairytale castles here.