‘Contemptible’ Denmark blasted over its plans to import mink and restart fur farming in 2023

Author: Maria Chiorando

Read Time:   |  21st December 2022

The country's mink fur farming industry was shut down two years' following the discovery that the coronavirus could be transmitted to humans, but the ban is set to be lifted on January 1 2023.

Denmark’s fur industry was shut down two years’ ago after it was discovered that a mink variant of the coronavirus could be transmitted to humans.

Hundreds of SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks had been recorded on mink farms across Europe resulting in many of the animals being gassed to death and the industry being temporarily banned.

However, the ban lifts on January 1, 2023, prompting plans to import 10,000 mink from Iceland, Norway, Spain, Poland and Finland to start a new breeding programme for fur farms.

Animal advocacy organisation the Humane Society International/Europe has blasted the plans, branding the country ‘contemptible.

Fur industry in decline

The organisation also noted that it is still unclear as to how the imported animals will be health screened, and that ‘if a solution is not in place in time, all the animals could potentially be killed upon arrival’.

According to HSI, the fur industry has been in decline for a number of years, with consumers and designers shunning the controversial material.

The decline was further hastened after the discovery of the SARS-CoV-2 on farms across Europe, prompting the closure of all fur farms in the Netherlands and the introduction of bans in several other EU countries.

According to HSI, the virus ‘continues to pose a threat to public health for as long as the factory farming of mink – a species highly susceptible to this virus and a source of viral mutations – is allowed to take place’.

Mink fur farming

In a statement sent to Vegan Food & Living, Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs at HSI/Europe, discussed the myriad negative implications of restarting the country’s fur farming industry.

She said: “It is contemptible that 10,000 mink are to be transported to Denmark, including 2,000 animals currently being shipped from Iceland across rough winter seas, to refill the barren wire cages on a handful of Danish fur farms whose owners decided to continue profiting quite literally off the backs of defenceless animals. 

“This is happening as across the EU, more than one million people so far have signed an official petition calling for an end to all fur farming. 

“Mink farms are a ticking time bomb for disease risk, and we urge both the competent national authorities and the European Commission to closely scrutinise any mass movement of potentially infectious animals, as well as act to shut down the fur trade before it delivers the next pandemic.”

HSI is urging people to show their support for a total ban on fur farming by signing the European Citizens’ Initiative for a Fur-Free Europe, which calls for a ban on all fur farming across the EU.

You can learn more about the suffering caused by fur factory farming here.

Featured image credit: Vital Hill via Getty Images

Written by

Maria Chiorando

Maria is an editor and journalist. Her work has been published by the Huffington Post, the Guardian, TechnoBuffalo, Plant Based News, and Kent on Sunday among other national and regional titles.

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