Denmark to cull millions of minks amid mutation fears for coronavirus vaccine

WION Web Team
Copenhagen, Denmark Updated: Nov 04, 2020, 10:02 PM(IST)

Minks Photograph:( AFP )

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Outbreaks at mink farms have persisted in the Nordic country, the world's largest producer of mink skins, despite repeated efforts to cull infected herds since June

Denmark, the world's biggest producer of mink fur, said Wednesday it would cull all of the country's minks after a mutated version of the new coronavirus was detected at its mink farms and had spread to people.

The mutation "could pose a risk that future (coronavirus) vaccines won't work the way they should," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a press conference, adding: "It is necessary to cull all the minks."

Outbreaks at mink farms have persisted in the Nordic country, the world's largest producer of mink skins, despite repeated efforts to cull infected herds since June.

Health authorities found virus strains in humans and in mink which showed decreased sensitivity against antibodies, potentially lowering the efficacy of future vaccines, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference.

Minks have also been culled in the Netherlands and Spain after finding infections.

Denmark's health minister said around half of 783 infected Danes in Northern Denmark, home to a large number of mink farms, had been infected with a virus strain stemming from the farms.

Authorities had registered five cases of the new strain on mink farms and 12 cases in humans.

The mink herd in Denmark totals between 15 million and 17 million, authorities said.

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