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Denmark’s mink tragedy is a rude wake-up call

Filed on November 29, 2020

The devastation is nothing short of a tragedy, and once more calls into sharp relief the relationship of humans with the natural world.

There’s a lot less joy in the world’s second happiest country at the moment. Denmark has been facing heavy backlash this week after the nation admitted its rushed culling of 17 million minks amid coronavirus fears was, in fact, illegal. The nation is the largest producer of mink skins globally. However, the detection of a mutated strain of Covid-19 in several farms sparked fears of restarting the pandemic.

The devastation is nothing short of a tragedy, and once more calls into sharp relief the relationship of humans with the natural world. The horribly cramped and filthy conditions in which mink farms are maintained are no different from wet markets, which make perfect breeding grounds for deadly disease.

Although some countries are recognising that such farms violate animal welfare on several levels (Ireland became the 15th country in the EU to ban mink farming last year), the industry will continue to thrive as long as governments fail to put people before profits. There must begin an orderly phasing out of the industry to prevent similar horrors in other parts of the world.





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