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According to an email from Humane Society International United Kingdom(HSI), mink on two fur farms tested positive for coronavirus. The mink, located in the Netherlands, were tested after they were noted to have difficulty breathing, per HSI.

Fur farms are notoriously dangerous and inhumane operations. Each fur farm where the mink was found had over 20,000 animals.

Dutch Agricultural Ministers have said they assumed the mink contracted the virus from an employee and called the risks to humans “negligible.” Fur farms have until 2024 to close in the Netherlands, according to HSI.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, which leads the #FurFreeBritain campaign for a UK fur sales ban said in an emailed statement, “Fur factory farms are breeding grounds for infectious diseases, confining thousands of wild animals in unsanitary, crowded and stressful conditions, with precious little veterinary care. In addition to the animal suffering that’s an unavoidable fact of the fur trade, the potential for zoonotic disease spread is another compelling reason for all fashion companies to go fur-free, and for governments to take action to shut down this dirty trade. One of the lessons we must learn from COVID-19 is that we cannot carry on pushing animals to the limit of their endurance without serious consequences for both animal and human health. We urge the Netherlands and other countries in the process of phasing out fur farming to speed up their industry closures, and countries yet to commit to bans, including China and Finland, to do so now.”

HSI is worried that the fur trade model of intensive farming creates conditions that increase and facilitate the spread of diseases like the coronavirus.

Read more about fur and fur farming in One Green Planet, check out these articles:

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