Coronavirus: Denmark culls millions of mink

Denmark is to cull around 17 million mink in the country's fur farms and has placed the region of Nordjütland in lockdown. The animals have been infected with coronavirus for months, and now a mutation has been transmitted to humans.

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For fur collars they die without headlines

The mass culling should be less a cause for pity than for thinking about the relationship between humans and nature, political scientist Sergei Medvedev writes in a Facebook post published by

“The animals would have been killed in a year or two anyway - without any big fuss or headlines - for fur coats and hats, and no one would have even noticed. ... For them it was more a release from a life of agony. ... It's a good thing that nature sends us messages: a first, second, and third warning. If you don't waste a thought on the suffering of millions of caged animals when you strut around in your fur coat in the cold, you should at least remember that it's our love for fur and other 'natural products' that resulted in Covid in the first place.”

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Don't just complain about China

Dagens Nyheter also sees the mutated virus as a wake-up call for the whole world:

“Large-scale livestock farming causes serious problems and must be subject to a thorough review and strict regulation. ... It's always the same pattern: the coronavirus spread outward from China via so-called wet markets, where wild animals are crammed together in small cages. The same was true of Sars in 2002. It's easy to get upset about China's negligent authorities. However, we must realise that this is not just about China, but about all of us. Global regulations for sustainability would not guarantee that there will never be another pandemic. But they would create much better conditions, for us and for the animals.”

Berlingske (DK) /

No more executive decisions

The decision about emergency measures like this one should not be left solely to Mette Frederiksen's government, Berlingske warns:

“We have a prime minister who has treated the coronavirus crisis as a social democratic solo project, frequently relying on gut feeling to exercise the powers of emergency laws. This has been a misguided strategy all along. It's high time she involved the party leaders in the process of deciding emergency legislation. That way, difficult decisions gain broader legitimacy, which is what the next phase of the corona crisis clearly demands. This is a lesson to be learned, among other things, from the disturbing spread of infections between humans and minks.”

Jyllands-Posten (DK) /

Mink breeders must receive full compensation

The government's overdue decision will drive mink breeders into bankruptcy, Jyllands-Posten concludes:

“The government has promised to provide financial support for the mink breeders, which in politics constitutes a non-binding commitment. But the very real situation in which mink breeders now find themselves demands complete compensation. This means that the state must dispossess the farms, as the mink breeders are demanding, because it is virtually inconceivable that the mink industry will survive this catastrophe.”