Danish parties agree on law to complete culling of country’s minks

The governing Social Democrats and allied parties on Denmark’s left have agreed on a proposed law that would enable authorities to legally order the culling of all fur farm mink.

Danish parties agree on law to complete culling of country’s minks
Photo: Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The agreement, which was finalised late on Monday, introduces a temporary ban on mink farming in Denmark until 2022.

The law provides the legal basis to complete the culling of all fur farm minks in Denmark – a legal basis which has, until now, been lacking. All mink currently at breeding farms are to be destroyed, including healthy mink outside of areas local to farms where coronavirus cases have been detected in the animals.

Denmark is currently in the process of culling all fur farm minks in the country after mutated forms of coronavirus were detected in the animals.

On November 4th, the government announced minks would be culled due to concerns one of the mutations could be resistant to potential vaccines.


None of the parties on the right support the deal, with the largest opposition party, the Liberals, demanding compensation for mink farmers be secured before the law is changed to cull the remaining animals.

As such, Monday’s deal cannot be expedited as an emergency law, according to a report by Jyllands-Posten. It could therefore take at least 30 days for the law to be enforceable, due to normal parliamentary process.

“This process has been messy, I’ll be the first to admit that. The government’s decision to cull all Danish minks was difficult and we are very aware of the far reaching consequences for individuals affected in the industry,” environment and food minister Mogens Jensen said in a business ministry statement.

Minister for businesses Simon Kollerup said negotiations over a compensation package for mink breeders were ongoing. 

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IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?

The number of new Covid-19 infections fell on Saturday for the second day in a row, following a three-day plateau at the start of last week. Has the omicron wave peaked?

IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?
Graffiti in the Copenhagen hippy enclave of Christiania complaining of Omicron's impact on Christmas. Photo: Philip Davali/Scanpix

How many cases, hospitalisations and deaths are there in Denmark? 

Denmark registered 12,588 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, down from the 18,261 registered on in the day leading up to Friday at 2pm, which was itself a decline from the record 28,283 cases recorded on Wednesday. 

The cases were identified by a total of 174,517 PCR tests, bringing the positive percentage to 7.21 percent, down from the sky high rates of close to 12 percent seen in the first few days of January. 

The number of cases over the past seven days is lower than the week before in almost every municipality in Denmark, with only Vallensbæk, Aarhus, Holseterbro, Skanderborg, Hjørring, Vordingborg,  Ringkøbing, Kolding, Assens, Horsens, Thisted, and Langeland reporting rises. 

Hospitalisations have also started to fall, with some 730 patients being treated for Covid-10 on Saturday, down from 755 on Friday. On Tuesday, 794 were being treated for Covid-19 in Danish hospitals, the highest number since the peak of the 2020-21 winter wave.

The only marker which has not yet started to fall is the number of deaths, which tends to trail infections and hospitalisations. 

In the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, Denmark registered 28 deaths with Covid-19, the highest daily number recorded since 20 January 2021, when 29 people died with Covid-19 (although Denmark’s deadliest day was the 19 January 2021, when 39 people died). 

How does Denmark compare to other countries in Europe? 

Over the last seven days, Denmark has had the highest Covid-19 case rate of any country in Europe bar Ireland. The number of new infections in the country has climbed steadily since the start of December, apart from a brief fall over Christmas. 

So does this mean the omicron wave has peaked? 

Maybe, although experts are not sure. 

“Of course, you can hope for that, but I’m not sure that is the case,” said Christian Wejse, head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital. “I think it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has peaked.”

He said that patients with the Omicron variant were being discharged more rapidly on average than had been the case with those who had the more dangerous Delta variant. 

“Many admissions are relatively short-lived, thankfully. This is because many do not become that il, and are largely hospitalized because they are suffering with something else. And if they are stable and do not need oxygen, then they are quickly discharged again.” 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to an event held by the Social Liberal party that the latest numbers made her even more optimistic about the coming month. 

“We have lower infection numbers and the number of hospitalisations is also plateauing,” she said. “I think we’re going to get through this winter pretty well, even if it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we are beginning to see the spring ahead of us, so I’m actually very optimistic.” 

She said that she had been encouraged by the fact that Omicron was a “visibly less dangerous variant if it is not allowed to explode.”