UPDATE 10 November 2020
Denmark has dropped its attempt to cull all mink on fur farms amid questions related to the presence of the mutated virus and concerns over livelihoods.
"We remain hopeful that one positive from this virus might be the permanent closure of these farms in the future. Fur is being rejected by designers in droves and these new health fears are another reason this industry should be a thing of the past," said Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns for Humane Society International/Australia
Original Media Release:
Denmark's Prime Minister has announced a complete cull of all mink on Danish fur farms. A total of 207 out of the 1,139 fur farms in Denmark has been infected with COVID-19, which prompted the announcement. Millions of mink will be killed as a result.
Speaking from Amsterdam, Dr Joanna Swabe, Humane Society International/Europe's senior director of public affairs, said: "Denmark is one of the largest fur producers on the planet, so a total shut down of all Danish mink fur farms amidst spiralling COVID-19 infections, is a significant development. Although not a ban on fur farming, this move signals the end of suffering for millions of animals confined to small wire cages on Danish fur farms solely for the purposes of a trivial fur fashion that no-one needs.
The Danish Prime Minister is taking this essential and science-led step to protect Danish citizens from the deadly coronavirus and ensuring that the effectiveness of any vaccine is not compromised by mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus from its mink hosts.
With COVID-19 having already been detected on 207 of the 1,139 fur farms in Denmark and over 1.2 million mink having already been culled as a result, the risk of keeping these virus reservoirs operating is far too great.
A decline in the public demand for fur fashion has led to a significant drop in pelt prices and stockpiles of fur skins going unsold at auctions. Although the death of millions of mink – whether culled for COVID-19 or killed for fur – is an animal welfare tragedy, fur farmers will now have a clear opportunity to pivot away from this cruel and dying industry and choose a more humane and sustainable livelihood instead. HSI urges the Danish government to assist fur farmers to transition to other activities. There has never been a more compelling time for Denmark to shut down the sick fur industry for good.”
Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns for Humane Society International/Australia, said: "Keeping thousands of animals in closely confined cages is high risk for public health as well as animal welfare. Neither risk is worth it for a mink coat. The fur industry must end."
Image: Jo-Anne McArthur
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