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5 Nov, 2020 14:41

WHO probing Covid-19 MUTATION in minks after massive Denmark outbreak & decision to cull 15 million animals

WHO probing Covid-19 MUTATION in minks after massive Denmark outbreak & decision to cull 15 million animals

The World Health Organization (WHO) is looking into reports of a genetically morphed Covid-19 virus after dozens of Danish citizens contracted it from minks, prompting the government’s decision to cull the entire population.

“We are aware of reports from Denmark of a number of people infected with coronavirus from mink, with some genetic changes in the virus,” the WHO tweeted on Thursday. It added that the body is already “in touch” with the country’s authorities and investigating the situation.

The WHO statement follows a massive outbreak of the mutated coronavirus among the Danish mink population. The country’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Wednesday that already 12 people have contracted this new strain of Covid-19. “The mutated virus in mink may pose a risk to the effectiveness of a future vaccine,” Frederiksen said during the press conference.

Denmark is the world’s largest producer of mink fur; however, the outbreak forced the government’s decision to cull the entire Danish herd of more than 15 million animals. The army, police, and national emergency services will be engaged to help the farmers, according to the prime minister.

Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said half the 783 human COVID-19 cases in the country’s north were “related” to mink. “It is very, very serious,” Frederiksen added, “Thus, the mutated virus in mink can have devastating consequences worldwide.”

Also on rt.com Dutch farmers will kill 10,000 mink for fear of coronavirus. Are pigs and cattle next?

Animal advocacy group Humane Society International called Denmark’s decision with regards to culling the minks an “animal welfare tragedy,” noting, nevertheless, that it could also be an “opportunity” for fur farmers to “pivot away from this cruel and dying industry and choose a more humane and sustainable livelihood”.

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