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Denmark lifts Covid ban on mink fur farming

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Denmark lifts Covid ban on mink fur farming
Labeled mink pelts in storage at producer Kopenhagen Fur in December 2020. A ban on mink fur farming, initially imposed due to concerns over Covid-19 mutations, will be lifted from next year. Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

After a controversial cull of all minks in Denmark due to a coronavirus variant, the world's former top exporter will once again allow mink farming, the agriculture ministry announced on Friday.

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"The temporary ban on keeping minks expires at the end of the year," a ministry statement said, citing recommendations from health authorities.

Farmers will need to adhere to strict infection prevention measures and a control model, it added.

Denmark decided to kill all of its some 15 million minks in November 2020 after studies suggested a variant found in some of the animals could jeopardise the effectiveness of future vaccines.

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The measure was rushed through and the mutation found in minks was later deemed extinct.

All breeding was subsequently banned in 2021 and 2022.

However the cull quickly turned into a political nightmare for the Social Democrat government as it later emerged there was no legal basis to impose the measure on farmers.

In early July, a commission of inquiry set up to determine responsibility for the affair concluded that Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had made "seriously misleading" statements without having "either the knowledge or the perspective" to judge.

The commission however elected only to reprimand Frederiksen without further consequence.

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