Mink farms are at high risk of COVID-19 infections, which can spread to other animals and humans. Infectious disease experts in Europe have called for regular testing of these facilities to prevent outbreaks.
According to The Guardian, mink are highly susceptible to the virus and COVID-19 can spread quickly through the open cages that house thousands these fur-bearing animals on farms.
Scientists revealed that mink in the Netherlands developed a mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus months ago. All the suspected animals were culled, and no humans were affected. However, the same mutation was found on a mink farm in nearby Denmark that researchers said could transmit to humans. Approximately 17 million of the Danish mink were also culled and news reports say 12 people were infected.
As of January, the Guardian says that the virus has been identified in 400 mink farms in at least eight countries in the European Union. The World Health Organization warned of the overall risk to humans and to other wildlife from fur farming.
EU experts have called for weekly testing of all animals on mink farms and frequent resting of staff and other personnel on the premises. Mink producers and fur advocates say that weekly testing is overzealous and should be done in areas where infection is spreading and only occasionally where there is no risk.
According to Kaiser Health News, thousands of mink at fur farms in Utah and Wisconsin died from coronavirus infections that veterinarians said were spread from workers.
© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.