חורפן מינק
A mink
Photo: Shutterstock
A mink

Minks transmit coronavirus to humans, say Dutch authorities

Government reports second suspected case of mink-to-human transmission; veterinarians demand mink population at infected breeding farms to be exterminated to prevent further spread of pathogen

Reuters |
Published: 05.25.20 , 21:00
The Dutch agriculture ministry on Monday said it had found what it believes to be the second case of a human becoming infected with the new coronavirus after coming in contact with a mink that had the virus.
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  • On April 26, the Dutch government reported mink on a farm in the south of the country had been found to have the disease, prompting a wider investigation of such farms, where the semiaquatic mammals are bred for their fur. Last week the government reported its first suspected case of mink-to-human transmission.
    חורפן מינקחורפן מינק
    A mink
    (Photo: Shutterstock)
    In a letter to parliament, AgricultureMinister Carola Schouten repeated that the country’s National Institute for Health believes the risk of animal-to-human transmission of the virus outside the farms on which they are kept is “negligible.”
    חוות חורפנים חורפן ביק אן דונק הולנד נדבקו ב קורונה הדביקו אנשיםחוות חורפנים חורפן ביק אן דונק הולנד נדבקו ב קורונה הדביקו אנשים
    Mink breeding farm in the Netherlands shuttered due to suspected animal-to-human transmission of coronavirus
    (Photo: AFP)
    Veterinarians have criticized the measures taken so far by authorities, which they consider to be too lenient, and demanded mink populations at the farms should be exterminated to prevent further spread of the pathogen.
    The carnivorous mammals belong to the same family as weasels, otters, and ferrets.
    Breeding animals for the fur industry was prohibited in the Netherlands in 2013 and existing farms, such as the one where the virus had been found, are set to close their gates after a transition period ending on 1 January, 2024.
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