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.
Mogens Jensen has just resigned as #Denmark's Minister of Food and Agriculture over the controversy around his government's illegal order to cull the entire country's farmed mink population due to #cluster5 #COVID19 fears. https://t.co/Y2fG0LYvfS— Shane Woodford (@WoodfordinDK) November 18, 2020
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.