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Danish mink fur breeders received 'too much compensation'

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Danish mink fur breeders received 'too much compensation'
Labeled mink pelts in storage at Kopenhagen Fur during the Covid-19 outbreak in Glostrup, Denmark, December 7th, 2020. Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

An investigation by a Danish media has suggested the government has overvalued compensation to mink fur breeders whose businesses were closed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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A political decision to compensate mink fur breeders 333 kroner for each skin they lost due to the industry’s Covid-era shutdown is likely to have been an overestimate that cost the government billions, media Zetland reports.

The figure comes from previously unseen information from accountancy firm Ernst & Young, which concludes that the average price of a mink skin in the relevant period was 234 kroner, 99 kroner per skin less than the price set by politicians.

The state could have saved 10 billion kroner if it had chosen the skin price which Ernst and Young found to have been the most probable sale price, Zetland writes.

The government set aside billions of kroner for compensation to mink breeders after ordering all fur farm minks be destroyed in late 2020, over concerns related to Covid-19 mutations in the animals. The order to destroy the minks was later found to be illegal in a major scandal for the government.

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In other recent articles, Zetland has described how mink breeders have gained influence over how much money is awarded to other mink farmers.

READ ALSO: Denmark demolishes mink farms three years after controversial shutdown

The latest report on the skin valuations means that every mink breeder who applied for compensation could receive an average compensation of 8 million kroner more than they would have earned from selling the skins.

The total cost to of the compensation scheme to the Danish state – currently 29.5 billion kroner – could therefore 50 percent more than it would have been with accurate valuations.

An economics professor from Aarhus University, Carsten Tanggaard, told Zetland that the consultancy report from Ernst & Young is both “sober” and “unassailable”.

He said that the mink breeders had therefore been overcompensated.

“They have received a particularly favourable valuation of their losses. Let’s put it that way,” he said.

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