COVID-19: Culled mink resurface after burial in Denmark

27 Novembre, 2020, 00:40 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The minks were reportedly buried in graves that were not deep enough allowing them to rise to the surface

According to new reports, hundreds of dead animals with COVID-19 mutations have been rising out of their graves in Europe, after gases built up inside their bodies.

"The gases cause the animals to expand and in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground", Jannike Elmegaard of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said.

After the animals were killed, they were buried in trenches, Danish authorities told the Associated Press.

They confirmed that a few hundred were affected by this "natural process".

The dead minks have been dug one metre down into the ground, and then covered with lime and a layer of earth, but according to Kristensen the earth around Holstebro had proven so sandy that more is needed to keep the carcasses down.

They have since been reburied elsewhere and local authorities are watching over the site to ensure other animals stay away.

In early November, Denmark - which is the world's largest exporter of mink fur - announced it would cull all of the country's more than 15 million minks after a mutated version of the novel coronavirus was discovered and believed to jeopardise the effectiveness of future vaccines.

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Denmark has proposed a ban on all mink breeding in the country until 2022.

Parliament also has to decide to pay compensation to the breeders. Most exports go to China and Hong Kong.

There are 1,139 mink farms in Denmark, employing about 6,000 people.

Wiping away tears, Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Thursday personally apologised for the handling of a crisis where a mutated version of the new coronavirus prompted the government to cull of millions of minks bred on farms. Breeders have said the culling will put an end to the industry.

"We have two generations of really skilled mink farmers, father and son, who in a very, very short time have had their life's work shattered", Ms Frederiksen told reporters after a meeting with a mink farmer and his son at their farm near Kolding in Western Denmark. "So that's why we've seen this happen", he said.

The coronavirus evolves constantly as it replicates but, to date, none of the identified mutations has changed anything about COVID-19's transmissibility or lethality.

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