The government of Denmark announced that it will again allow the breeding of minks from 2023, when the ban introduced in 2020 after the slaughter of some 15 million animals due to a mutation of COVID-19 ends.
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The Danish health authorities warned in the fall of 2020 that this mutation could compromise the efficacy of future vaccines against COVID-19, for which the Government urgently approved killing the entire population of minksin addition to prohibiting breeding in what was then the world’s leading producer.
The Danish Serological Institute (SSI) believes that the public health risk of reopening farms is “limited”, because production has been significantly reduced and it will be necessary for breeders to introduce a series of preventive measures against the contagion.
These measures include carrying out COVID-19 tests on animals, the obligation to change clothes and bath before having contact with them, and the use of protective material.
The authorities will review the model in the spring, according to a new estimate from the SSI, so that the measures “continue to reflect the current risk”.
“For the Government, the issue of mink farming has been solely one of public health. That is why it has been a decisive factor that the health authorities now consider it defensible to resume production in Denmark,” Agriculture Minister Rasmus Prehn said in a statement.
The “minkgate” (mink case, as it is known in Denmark) gave rise to the biggest recent political scandal in this Nordic country, when it was discovered days after the announcement of the slaughter of animals and the closure of farms that there was no legal coverage , since only animals on farms with contagion or in the nearby area were allowed.
The minority Social Democratic government approved a legal reform on the march, in the face of protests from breeders and the opposition, while the Minister of Agriculture, Mogens Jensen, resigned, and a commission approved by Parliament was created.
That commission concluded last June that the government’s actions were “very reprehensible” and saw grounds for opening disciplinary cases against several high-ranking officials, and although it considered that the Prime Minister’s statements, Mette Frederiksen, were “seriously misleading,” it admitted that It is not possible to know if he was aware of the lack of legal coverage.
The Danish Parliament approved an official reprimand for Frederiksen in July, although it refused to apply other measures, as the opposition demanded, thanks to the votes of the allies of the Social Democrats, which guarantee him a majority in the Chamber.
Frederiksen has acknowledged errors in his performance, although he attributed them to the “critical” situation in which he found himself in the country in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
With information from EFE