Over 1,000,000 mink killed in Europe due to COVID-19

High percentage of mink tested positive on Aragon fur farm recently.

European nations have killed over 1,000,000 mink from factory-style fur farms in recent weeks as COVID-19 streamrolls its way through the confined populations after being passed on by workers.

Aragon, an autonomous nation in Spain, has ordered the killing of 92,700 mink, according to The Guardian. Concurrently, in the Netherlands, another mink farm was identified as the source of an outbreak on Friday (July 17, 2020), bringing that nations total mink farms infected to 25, The Guardian reports.

It is estimated now that over 1,000,000 mink on European fur farms as COVID-19 has shown to rapidly move through the unnaturally confined mink populations, after workers introduced the virus, it is believed.

Fur prices have declined rapidly since the peak of fur pelt prices, resulting in millions in bailouts, loans and other payments to fur farms in Canada from taxpayers. Thirteen fur farms in British Columbia remain uninspected; despite claims from the province’s Minister of Agriculture that policy is in place to keep mink, workers and the greater communities they’re in healthy, it is difficult to accept when no one from the government has actually be on site to verify this to be the case. Fur farms in Nova Scotia have also gone uninspected; there are more than 100 fur farms across the nation.

The Netherlands has moved up plans to shutter fur farms following ongoing welfare issues and now the pandemic virus, which seemingly moves through farmed mink populations with ease.

Seven farm workers and 87% of mink on an Aragon farm tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the killing of all mink on the farm. How the virus moves between mink and humans remains uncertain.

The Fur-Bearers will continue to monitor how COVID-19 is impacting the fur industry internationally and what steps are being taken in Canada to prevent outbreaks in communities.

Top photo: mink in a British Columbia fur farm.


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The Fur-Bearers is a national non-profit based in Vancouver. It was formed in 1953 and advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals in the wild and in confinement, and promotes co-existence with wildlife. More about our history and campaigns can be found at thefurbearers.com.

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