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Mink industry at risk: 10,000 minks killed, farms quarantined

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About 10,000 minks have been killed due to coronavirus infection in a Utah farm impacting $300 million industry in the United States

After the death of about 10,000 minks, authorities have imposed quarantine measures in order to curb its spread in Utah farms. Earlier Wisconsin State Journal also reported death of about hundreds of minks in the state.

In a statement, the Agricultural authorities said, “The affected mink farms have been quarantined to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food has implemented stringent biosecurity measures and is working diligently with other organizations to address the outbreaks.”

Earlier reports

Presence of coronavirus infection in Mink population was first made public in August this year by the USDA. The incidents were recorded in two different farms in Utah. By then Mink farmers from Netherlands, Denmark and Spain had already informed the world of such outbreaks.

Whether minks can transfer coronavirus to humans on a massive scale is yet to be confirmed. As the USDA further emphasized that, “there is currently no evidence that animals, including mink or other mustelids, play a significant role in spreading the virus to humans.”

According to research published in journal Scientific Reports, Coronavirus can spread to other species of mammals that come in regular contact with humans.

Mink Industry

Minks are raised and harvested for their fur which is immensely valuable due to its light-weight, soft texture and unique luster due to its double coating and has a very long life. A mink coat could cost from $1000 to $50,000.

Every year America produces about 3 million mink pelts, whereas Denmark rules the mink industry with its 40% share. The United States was the largest producer of mink pelts till mid1980s after which Denmark took over the majority share in business, as mild winters and cool summers are ideal for mink farming.

Mink fur could be used for making coats, gloves, ear muffs as well as teddy bears.

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