US Mink Fur Farms Hit By COVID-19 After A Million Culled In Europe
Following huge infection rates at mink fur farms in Europe, the virus has now spread to captive minks in the US.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed the presence of coronavirus at fur farms in the country, with farmers describing, “deaths in numbers they’d never seen before.”
Farmers in Utah reported unusual mortality rates to the USDA earlier this month, with an investigation quickly being launched.
Tom Baldwin, — a veterinary pathologist at Utah State University — conducted autopsies on a number of the dead mink, finding that their lungs were “wet, heavy, red, and angry.” Baldwin stated that his findings were consistent with a type of pneumonia that is not normal in mink.
“A Very Serious Matter”
“The threat to the livelihoods of those who farm the mink is very real,” said Baldwin.
“Given we’re dealing with real people with families and husbands and wives, that’s enough for me to consider this a very serious matter.”
Affected farms in Utah have now been put under a 30-day quarantine.
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Mink Fur Farms
Mink farms across Europe have already been hit by the spread of COVID-19, with the Netherlands reporting especially high infection rates.
In June, the Dutch parliament voted to close all mink fur farms in the country, following multiple coronavirus reports. As a result, an estimated one million minks were killed.
“A Reservoir For Coronaviruses”
“The intensive breeding of animals on fur farms is an incredibly cruel practice that not only causes immense suffering to animals, but can also serve as a reservoir for coronaviruses,” said Joanna Swabe of Humane Society International Europe.
“The Dutch Parliament has said good riddance to an industry predicated on the out-dated idea that exploiting, depriving, and killing animals for frivolous fur fashion is acceptable.”
Do you think the US government might follow suit and ban fur farms? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Tags: animal farming, Animals, coronavirus, COVID19, Europe, farming, fur farms, mink, mink fur farms, public health, US, USDA, Utah