Thousands of mink face slaughter at Laois farm

22 Novembre, 2020, 19:06 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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In response to the issue, the Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter on November 6 to officials at the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Health Authority, urging them to send inspectors to the mink farms to be proactive about a potential for COVID outbreaks in the industry.

The Chief Medical Officer has written to the Department of Agriculture voicing concern that the mutation could affect the rollout of any COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile a number of media outlets reported that at least a dozen people had been diagnosed with something called "mink coronavirus". The Covid-19 variant could be passed to humans and could derail vaccination plans were it to spread internationally.

Although millions of the animals have already been destroyed in Denmark, due to an outcry from mink farmers and others involved in the industry, the cull has been halted.

"The Department of Agriculture continues to engage with the mink farmers to consider the next steps", it said.

"No further cases of mink variant with cluster 5 have been detected since September 15, which is why the State Serum Institute assesses that this variant has most likely become extinct", the ministry said in a statement.

This comes after a mutated strain of the virus was found on a mink farm in Denmark. In late October, this proportion fell from 6% to 5%, it said.

However, it is also understood that the farms will be allowed to "pelt" the remaining animals to fill outstanding orders.

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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had raised the alarm about the mutation in early November, ordering all the country's minks slaughtered.

As Denmark's mink crisis, sometimes referred to as "minkgate", rages on, a new mink cull in the Republic of Ireland has begun.

However, the authorities noted that no Covid-19 cases have been found in Irish mink farms so far, which are home to around 100,000 of the animals.

HSE CEO Paul Reid today said all workers and their families have now been tested and none of them tested positive for the virus.

It said human testing was a matter for the HSE but it has declined to release information about any outbreaks connected to mink farms. Authorities are investigating whether they were infected by the animals.

It said the advice also includes strict adherence to the HSE public health guidelines on COVID 19.

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