All 93,000 mink at a farm in Aragon, Spain are to be slaughtered under a government order after 80% of a sample were found to be infected. The wife of a worker at the farm in La Puebla de Valverde, 125 miles east of Madrid, tested positive last May. Seven more human cases were later confirmed at the farm which will be compensated by the government.
A WHO epidemiologist, Maria van Kerkhove said:
There were individuals who infected the minx, people who infected the mink and in turn some of these mink infected some people.
She said that they are learning about the transmission of the virus between animals and vice versa.
They also said that the mink infections appear to be the first known cases of animal-to-human transmission since the coronavirus pandemic began in China. However, it may be the case that farmworkers gave the virus to the mink and then it spread throughout the mink population at the farm. I don’t think this confirms that the mink gave the virus to the people or vice versa for that matter. They don’t know. However, we do know for sure that a lot of people in Spain have contracted the virus so it is more likely as far as I am concerned that humans are giving it to the mink.
There is also a report that in the Netherlands tens of thousands of mink have been slaughtered in recent months after Covid-19 outbreaks were discovered at farms across the country. The Dutch government has said that it found a couple of suspected cases of farmworkers being infected by the animals in May. There have also been reports of Covid-19 infections at mink farms in Denmark. This countries are both major producers of the animal’s fur.
There are continuing fears and indeed a heightened fear that the prevalence of zoonotic diseases is increasing across the globe and this health issue will continue to become more grave without action to protect wildlife and preserve the environment, UN experts have warned. We are told that zoonotic diseases have killed 2 million people a year. The Covid-19 pandemic may cost the world economy $9 trillion over two years. Ebola, West Nile virus and SARS are also zoonotic diseases having started in animals and then jumped to humans.
The jump of viruses from animals to humans has been exacerbated according to the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Livestock Research Institute by humans degrading the natural environment such as land degradation, resource extraction, climate change and wildlife exploitation.
This alters the relationship between people and animals and it brings them together more often which is an contibruting argument as to why the coronavirus pandemic started in China.