Mink are the latest animals to contract coronavirus

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 06, 2020, 07.56 AM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( AFP )

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According to BBC, officials in The Netherlands believe mink contracted the virus from farm workers a week ago, and the farms have since been put into quarantine.

Mink at two fur farms in the Netherlands have tested positive for coronavirus, adding to the list of animals known to be at risk of COVID-19.

According to BBC, officials in The Netherlands believe mink contracted the virus from farm workers a week ago, and the farms have since been put into quarantine.

It, however, is not surprising that Mink have contracted the virus. The list of mammal species infected during the 2003 SARS outbreak accounts for at least 16, including mink, palm civets, fruit bats, several species of horseshoe bat, red fox, wild boar, raccoon dog, and domestic cats and dogs.

It was reported last month that lions and tigers at a New York zoo had caught the disease from their keepers.

To this end, animal rights organisation Peta has written a letter to ministers calling for the farms to be shut down immediately.

"Allowing mink farms to maintain business as usual for nearly four more years - in the face of a global crisis stemming from animal exploitation - would be inexcusable from the perspective of both the risk posed to humans and the harm inflicted on the mink themselves," they wrote.

Animal protection charity Humane Society International, which campaigns for a global end to the fur trade, has warned of the risk in other countries too where tens of millions of mink, fox, raccoon dogs, chinchillas and rabbits are farmed.

The novel coronavirus broke out in China's Wuhan in December, 2019, and has since infected more than 3.5 million people in the world and killed over 2,50,000.

As much as 75 per cent of China's wildlife trade is dominated by fur production with animals farmed for their fur, such as raccoon dogs, foxes and mink, often ending up at wildlife wet market.