The government began measures in the summer to limit the spread of Covid-19 to mink farms, but the number of cases increased dramatically in September.
By early October, minks on nearly 60 farms in northern Jutland alone had tested positive for Covid-19, and another 46 were under suspicion, according to Mogens Jensen, the Danish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries.
“We have continuously launched initiatives to manage and limit the spread of the infection,”
The order is sweeping. Mink farms within five miles of a farm or herd that have been confirmed or suspected of being infected with Covid-19 will also be destroyed, Jenson said.
“The government has made a difficult decision, but we fully support it,” said Tage Pedersen, chairman of the Danish Association of Mink Breeders.
“In recent weeks, we have all experienced that more and more farms in northern Jutland are infected and no one has been able to explain the increase. Human health must come first.”
The culling process will be managed by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the Danish Emergency Management Agency, and mink breeders will receive compensation for the loss of their herd, together with compensation for operational losses.
On October 9, it was reported that thousands of minks had died on fur farms in Utah and Wisconsin after the Covid-19 outbreaks. The virus progresses rapidly in mink, with most infected minks dying the next day. It is not clear why the species is so susceptible to the coronavirus while other animals are not affected.
CNN’s Cherry Mosburg and Brian Rees contributed to this report.