The Swedish government held a press conference this week to announce that the mink industry in Sweden will shut down in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The news follows the initial disclosure that in October of last year, the first case of coronavirus was found on a mink farm in Sweden. The virus subsequently spread to 12 other farms.
Jennie Nilsson, Minister for Rural Affairs and Per Bolund, Minister of Finance shared the news of the temporary closure, noting that the Agriculture Agency in Sweden will not allow any breeding of minks in 2021.
“This means that new minks must not be born in Sweden during the year. The animals that remain can be kept. The decision was made by the authorities based on a comprehensive assessment of the infection situation to safeguard animals and human health,” Minister Nilsson stated in a post on her Facebook page.
According to Nilsson, the government will assign the Agricultural Agency and National Veterinary Institute (SVA) to examine animal contagions and how the country can work on preventing the emergence and spread of the virus.
“Today, the government came with the gratifying message that all mink breeding is stopped in 2021. It is an issue that the Environmental Party has fought for hard and long, and it is an important first step in combating the risks and consequences that can be linked to animal industries,” Minister Bolund said in a message on his Facebook page, further noting that Sweden sets higher animal industry demands than in many other countries, while also acknowledging that there’s more work to be done.
“When both humans and animals can be affected by the virus, the situation is serious. The Corona pandemic is not the first time diseases are transported between animals and humans, nor will it be the last,” concluded Bolund, who explained that because of this, it is more important than ever to review animal husbandry policies in the country.
Animal welfare organization, Djurens Rätt, “considers this to be the definitive end of the mink industry,” and the end of mink breeding in Sweden, even if the ban is temporary. Djurens Rätt has been working against the cruelty in the mink industry for a long time and a large majority of Swedes wants to see the farms shut down. This is a good day for the minks,” Camilla Bergvall, President for Djurens Rätt, said in a statement.
At the end of 2020, the Netherlands proceeded to implement its previously scheduled closure of mink farms earlier than intended as a consequence of the spread of the coronavirus among the minks. Denmark introduced a temporary ban in 2021 for the same reason, in line with the decision Sweden has now made. If this decision is a final end to mink farms, Sweden will become one of the many countries that have closed the door to this outdated industry.
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The post Breaking! Sweden Shuts Down Its Mink Industry In 2021 To Stop The Spread Of COVID-19 appeared first on World Animal News.