A wild mink has tested positive for the coronavirus. This is the first instance of coronavirus detected in a wild animal. The result was confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), who shared that the wild mink was found close to a Utah fur farm.

Source: abc4utah/Youtube

“To our knowledge, this is the first free-ranging, native wild animal confirmed with Sars-CoV-2,” the USDA said in an alert to the International Society for Infectious Diseases. This raises concerns that wild animals might be able to spread the infections.

Millions of mink have been killed in Europe after infections were found on multiple fur farms.

Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States wrote in her blog today: “We have been making the case since the beginning of the pandemic for ending cruel confinement practices like fur farming because animals held in cramped, crowded spaces are far more likely to contract and spread dangerous diseases that can jump to humans. As the pandemic has progressed, we have seen these fears turn to reality.”

Dr. Dan Horton, a veterinary expert at the University of Surrey, UK, told the BBC that the discovery, “reinforces the need to undertake surveillance in wildlife and remain vigilant.”

The first infections on mink fur farms were found in April and the Danish government used the opportunity to take a stance against the industry and call for closing all farms by March 2021. Over a million mink were killed during the pandemic.

Read more about mink and fur farms during coronavirus, including the coronavirus spread through Dutch farms, a million mink killed by Dutch fur farms during coronavirus, and the Dutch government’s previous statement on mink and the coronavirus. 

Sign this petition to demand a complete end to mink fur farming in Denmark!

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