06:02 GMT04 December 2020
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    Earlier this month, Denmark opted to destroy all mink at fur farms to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which was confirmed to have mutated and infected the animals, posing a danger to humans.

    Danish Minister for Food and Agriculture Mogens Jensen will resign in the wake of the government's acknowledgement it did not have the legal basis to order the culling of all farmed mink across the country, as per Danish broadcasters DR and TV 2.

    Earlier, the World Health Organisation announced that the new coronavirus had been detected at mink farms in six countries — Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Italy, and the United States — since the outbreak of the pandemic earlier this year.

    The international health watchdog also confirmed the susceptibility of mink to the coronavirus, which thereby renders them dangerous to humans, with scientists describing the mutated form of the virus as less responsive to antibodies and thus endangering the efficacy of upcoming vaccines.

    On 5 November, the Danish authorities moved to greenlight the destruction of all minks on fur farms to prevent the spread of the mutated coronavirus. Yet, Mogens Jensen, Minister for Gender Equality, Food and Fisheries, opposed the move, contending at the time that the grave decision had no legal basis.

    To date, up to 2.5 million mink have been killed by the world's largest producer of mink fur, as at least twelve people in Denmark have been diagnosed with what has been dubbed by a number of media outlets as "mink coronavirus". More than a quarter million Danes have since gone into lockdown in northern regions of the country where a mutated variation of the coronavirus has infected the mink.

    The Danish mink pelt industry is the largest in the world, producing around 12 to 13 million mink skins each year.


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