June 17, 2020 / 11:21 AM / 20 days ago

Mink at Danish farm to be culled after catching coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A view shows a machine depositing dead minks after the gassing, as the country continues a cull to prevent the animals from possibly infecting humans with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at a farm in De Mortel, Netherlands June 9, 2020. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw/File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Mink at a farm in Denmark were found to be infected with the new coronavirus and all 11,000 of the animals there will have to be culled, Danish authorities said on Wednesday.

The outbreak is the first in Denmark, the world’s largest producer of mink skins, but comes shortly after the virus was found at 13 mink farms in the Netherlands, where about 570,000 mink have been ordered culled.

“The government has decided, on a precautionary principle, that the infected mink stock will be culled to minimise the risk of potential spread of the disease,” the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration said in a statement.

A spokeswoman told Reuters that around 11,000 mink would be culled.

Mink at the Danish farm were tested after a person associated with the farm tested positive with COVID-19.

The Dutch outbreaks are thought to have originated from human handlers and then spread among the mink.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen, additional reporting by Toby Sterling in Amsterdam; Editing by Gareth Jones and Giles Elgood

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