Royal Oak Tribune

Mink coronaviru­s infection in Denmark prompts plan to kill 15 million animals

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Denmark, one of the largest fur producers in the world, plans to kill every mink in the country to contain a coronaviru­s mutation that had begun spreading back to humans.

Although the virus mutates constantly, this variation prompted particular concern, according to scientists at Denmark’s Statens Serum Institut, because 12 of the people infected showed less ability to produce antibodies, which could reduce the potential effectiven­ess of a vaccine.

The Danish government announced it would expand plans for a more limited cull and put down 15 million minks.

Prime Minister Mette Frederikse­n said Wednesday it was a “heavy decision” but the situation required “resolute action.”

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said genomic analysis suggested nearly 400 human coronaviru­s cases in northern Denmark were related to the mink farms, about half of all cases. About 5% of all human infections in the region involve the new mutation, the Serum Institut estimated.

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