Denmark plans to cull its entire population of around 15 million mink on farms after the animals spread a coronavirus mutation in humans.
The prime minister of the country, Puts Frederiksen, said at a press conference Wednesday that the mutated virus it could spread to other countries. "Mink coronavirus mutation could pose a risk to the efficacy of a future vaccine."
We have a great responsibility to our population, but with this newly detected coronavirus mutation, we have an even greater responsibility for the rest of the world as well.Puts Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Denmark
The coronavirus mutation that comes from mink
The mutated virus was found in a dozen people infected with mink. Half of the 783 human cases of Covid-19 in northern Denmark "are linked to mink," said the health minister. Magnus Heunicke.
Mike Ryan, the head of the emergency program for the World Health Organization, called for scientific investigations calling it a "complex issue". According to him, the virus was transmitted to minks by humans, then it underwent a mutation and now the reverse path is taking place.
Kare Molbak, director of the research center Statens Serum Institut, said the worst case scenario would be "a new pandemic, starting over from Denmark".
“That's why we have to take this extremely seriouslyMolbak said.
Is a mink slaughter looming?
There are between 15 and 17 million mink in Denmark, one of the world's leading exporters of mink fur.
According to government estimates, culling the country's mink population due to the coronavirus mutation could cost up to $ 785 million.