Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Dutch minks culled after farmers infected with coronavirus



In the Netherlands, tens of thousands of minks are being culled after they infected several farmers with the coronavirus. The Dutch government informs that this is to prevent farms from becoming long-term reservoirs of the Coronavirus COVID-19. Researchers are urging other countries such as Denmark and Spain to also test their animals for the virus.

Mink are interesting mammals. They are dark-colored, semiaquatic and carnivorous. They are part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, otters and ferrets.

There are two interesting extant species referred to as "mink": the American mink and the European mink. The fascinating American mink is larger and more adaptable than the European mink. There are variations in size. An individual mink usually cannot be determined as European or American with certainty without looking at the skeleton. The specification is that all European mink have a large white patch on their upper lip. Only some American mink have this marking. Any mink without the patch is certainly of the American species.

The mink's fur has been highly prized for use in clothing, sometimes with hunting giving way to farming. Their treatment on fur farms has often been a focus of animal rights and animal welfare activism.

Mink oil is used in some medical products and cosmetics. Mink oil is also used to treat, preserve and waterproof leather.

Dutch government greatly worries infected mink could become a viral reservoir that could cause new outbreaks in humans.

Read more about it here:
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/coronavirus-rips-through-dutch-mink-farms-triggering-culls-prevent-human-infections

July 1, 2020 - A third mink herd has been found to be infected with COVID-19, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) said in a press release on Wednesday.

The fascinating animals came under scrutiny after people connected to the mink farm, in Hjorring municipality of North Jutland, 356 km northwest of Copenhagen, reported to DVFA that they had become unfortunately infected with COVID-19.

Following a huge round of testing of the animals on Monday, more than half of the 10,000-strong mink herd were discovered to be infected with this deadly virus.

"It is against this background that the government has decided that this third infected herd must also be killed on the basis of a precautionary principle," said the press release.

In recent weeks, two other mink farms in the same area have seen 11,000 mink killed because of the infection, and a dog of a mink farm owner tested positive and became the first pet in Denmark infected with the coronavirus.

Read more details here:
http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-07/02/c_139181462.htm

It seems that very few dogs in the world had Covid-19, but some dogs did have it.

Over time, English-speaking people used the word Dutch to describe people from both the Netherlands and Germany. Now these days, just the Netherlands today.

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