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Infected mink and import from Denmark

All Danish mink hava been culled, due to COVID-19. Find questions and answers about the handling of the mink during this operation.


 

Click the questions to see the answer

 

Yes, imported food from Denmark is still safe. The risk that food is a transmission route for coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is very low. The virus does not multiply in food or feed, as it needs living cells to reproduce. This is confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

WHO states, "It is highly unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging. There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging. Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply" and EFSA confirms, "There is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus"

Even though a new mink-strain of COVID-19 virus is discovered, the transmission route is not changed. November 7, 2020 WHO reports the following: "Available evidence has so far not indicated any changes in the virus affecting virus transmissibility, or disease severity associated with this new variant strain".

25 March 2021

Yes, imported feed from Denmark is still safe. The risk that feed is a transmission route for coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is very low. The virus does not multiply in food or feed as it needs living cells to reproduce.

EFSA refers to BfR, Germany's risk assessment body for more answers about food and feed.

BfR says, "The BfR is not yet aware of any information from China or other countries affected by SARS-CoV-2 that indicate a particular role for feed for pets and livestock. So far, there is no evidence that animal feed is a vehicle for coronaviruses"

This applies both to the feeding of livestock and to the feeding of pets. For feeding livestock, roughage and compound feed is used. For feeding of pets, ready-made feed is mostly used. This is understood as dry food (e.g. pellets, biscuits), wet or moist food, frozen food, grain food or even snacks (e.g. dog biscuits, dog cookies, chews)

25 March 2021

Yes, it is safe to import live animals and animal by-products from Denmark. The culled mink were disposed separately and were not in contact with other live animals and animal by-products. SARS-CoV-2 in animals is notifiable in Denmark. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration can ensure that live animals and animal by-products will meet all the import conditions required by the country of destination.

25 March 2021

The culling of all Danish mink on farms was completed as of 5 February 2021.

25 March 2021

The Danish government has put a temporary ban on mink farming in Denmark until after 31. December 2021.

In addition, any movement of live mink across the Danish boarder is not allowed until after 31. December 2021.


25 March 2021

 

The mink were not allowed to be skinned and the intact body were disposed.

In all SARS-CoV-2 positive farms and farms within the 7.8 km perimeters, the culled mink including skin were disposed of by rendering in specialized rendering plants in Denmark.

Due to an overload of capacity at the rendering plants, some of the culled mink were incinerated in waste incineration plants in Denmark, and some were buried, drenched and encapsulated with lime e.g. on designated military territories. It is planned to dig up and incinerate the buried mink later in 2021.


25 March 2021

To minimize the spread of SARS-CoC-2 from manure, the manure are to be treated in one of the following ways:

·         Leave the manure until after 31. May 2021.

·         The Manure is treated with lime to raise the pH value to above 12 for one hour.

·         The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration can give permission to conduct other treatments if they insure the virus to be inactivated.

After the manure has been treated as described above, the manure can be spread on farmland.

25 March 2021

Manure from non-infected farms are not subject to any restrictions and can be used in biogas plants or spread on land.

8 November 2020 

The healthy mink were allowed to be skinned.

The bodies were disposed of by rendering in specialized rendering plants in Denmark.

Due to a overload of capacity at the rendering plants, some of the culled mink bodies were incinerated in waste incineration plants in Denmark, and some were buried, drenched and encapsulated with lime e.g. on designated military territories. 

25 March 2021

All SARS-CoV-2 positive farms are cleaned and disinfected according to government guidelines.

All other farms are cleaned according to their normal cleaning procedure used after skinning of the minks.

8 November 2020 

The method used for culling was gassing with carbon monoxide.

XX March 2021

Why was this method chosen over others?

It was found to be the most appropriate method, both in terms of animal welfare and workflow.

This method is also used when the farmer normally cull mink in relation to skinning. So almost all farmers already had the equipment on the farm.

Also, in cases of disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19, using gas is considered one of the safest options, because the skin of the animals remains unbroken, avoiding the release of contaminated bodily fluids into the environment.


25 March 2021

All farmers are compensated.  

An agreement between the Danish government, Venstre, the Danish Social-Liberal Party, the Socialist People's Party and the Liberal Alliance, for compensation of mink farmers and subtrades were passed 25. January 2021.

25 March 2021

Yes. Skins and furs currently in transport or already imported stem from healthy animals. 

8 November 2020 

Skins and furs from healthy animals in non-infected farms outside of the 7.8 km perimeter could be pelted in the pelting season and sold on commercial basis, including for export purposes.  


25 March 2021

 

Last Modified 22. July 2021