Mink at Utah Fur Farms test positive for COVID-19 virus
This week, mink examined optimistic for SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that results in COVID-19 – on two fur farms in Utah. The exams got here after the US Division of Agriculture reported that an “unusually massive” variety of mink had died on these farms, on which some individuals who got here involved with mink had additionally examined optimistic for COVID-19.
The presence of SARS-CoV-2 was initially detected within the fur business on two mink fur farms within the Netherlands in April and has since expanded to 33 mink fur farms within the area, in addition to three fur farms in Denmark and one in Spain. Whereas the Dutch authorities initially believed that the virus was transmitted from human staff to animals, Dutch Agriculture Minister Carola Schouten confirmed in Could that the virus was transmitted from mink to people. In June, the Netherlands started “killing” 1000’s of mink in an try to cease the virus from spreading. About a million animals, principally new child pups, had been killed in mid-July.
In mild of this example, the Humane Society of america (HSUS) printed a method report in Could recommending a ban on the commerce in fur animals resembling foxes, raccoons and mink to cease the unfold of COVID-. 19 and forestall future outbreaks of zoonoses. “Regardless of these culls, specialists consider the farms stay potential reservoirs for the coronavirus,” mentioned Kitty Block, President and CEO of HSUS said. “After fur farmers within the Netherlands examined optimistic for the virus, the Dutch authorities mentioned it was” very doubtless “that they had been contaminated with the mink virus. The Netherlands at the moment are contemplating closing all fur farms within the nation earlier than the 2024 deadline they beforehand set to stop all fur manufacturing on their soil. We want an analogous dialogue – and motion – right here in america, the place fur farming remains to be widespread regardless of falling client curiosity [in fur products]. ”
There are presently greater than 200 fur farms within the US that collectively produced three million pelts over the previous 12 months. Utah has roughly 55 mink fur farms and was the second largest mink fur producer after Wisconsin in 2018.