Denmark is going to cull 17 million mink because of coronavirus mutation

Mink farm in Denmark

NEWS AND VIEWS (COMMENT): Clearly, the Danish mink farming industry is in catastrophic crisis but it may be a good thing because there have been calls to finish it anyway. Most of the mink fur farmed in Denmark is exported to China and it is $1 billion business. The problem is that it is also a cruel business so it should end according to animal advocates. This may be a silver lining to this nasty virus.

Mink farm in Denmark

Mink farm in Denmark. Photo: per the credit on the photo.

The Danish government has ordered the culling of its entire 17 million mink population because their health authorities decided that the entire mink population in that country may become a reservoir for a mutated variant of the coronavirus and if it did they could start a fresh pandemic. The consequences are potentially enormous and the decision is equally enormous because to kill 17 million animals is shocking. We must think of the animals because they are the innocent victims of human behaviour.

They’re going to be killed by gassing with carbon monoxide and then incinerated including their fur. There will therefore be huge economic losses for the businesses. For animal advocates, as mentioned, there is not a bad thing. The bad thing is the treatment of the animals.

This may be the beginning of the end for the mink farming industry. The finding of a mutated strain of the coronavirus has been reported to the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The police, home guard and the army are going to be enlisted in the massive task of killing 17 million animals. The mutated variant of this virus has been found in more than 200 of the 1,139 breeding farms in Denmark.

Carbon monoxide gassing

In researching as to whether carbon monoxide gassing is cruel, Google throws up information about carbon dioxide gassing of animals which certainly is cruel. I’m therefore going to rely on the NHS in the UK to provide an indication as to whether the mink being gassed will feel distress and pain when they die. This is a consideration, surely? Carbon oxide is poisonous but it has no smell or taste. When humans breath it they feel unwell. When the gas enters the bloodstream it mixes with haemoglobin to form carboxyhaemoglobin. The blood can no longer carry oxygen which causes the body’s cells and tissues to fail and die.

It can cause a tension headache. Symptoms are dizziness, feeling sick, tired, confused with a stomach pain and shortness of breath with difficulty breathing. I conclude, therefore, that gassing by carbon monoxide poisoning is going to be distressing for these animals at the very least. Multiply it by 17m.