THE HAGUE, netherlands | The Dutch authorities have started Saturday, the culling of more than 1500 mink from a farm where cases of COVID-19 have been reported in small mammals, after a judge had dismissed the day before a request of the defenders of animals.
The department of Agriculture announced Wednesday to proceed to the slaughter of “more than 10,000 minks” from farms where cases of the new coronavirus have been recorded, in order to ensure that they do not become foci of contamination.
Two groups of animals were seized by the Dutch court Thursday to try to prevent this measure, but their petition was dismissed on Friday evening.
The slaughter of animals has therefore “started today (Saturday) in a breeding aim to Deurne”, in the south of the netherlands, said Frederique Hermie, a spokesman for the agency responsible for food safety and health (NVWA).
“This company has about 1500 females, who each have four to five small,” said Ms. Hermie AFP, adding that the animals are killed using carbon monoxide.
The killing of minks in the other nine infected farms is expected to continue during the week, she said.
The authorities have established in may, two employees of these farms had “very probably” contracted the COVID-19 via aim.
These two cases are plausible contamination of Dutch by mink could be the “first known case of transmission” of the new coronavirus from animals to humans, according to the world health Organization (WHO).
The government subsequently banned the transport of these animals and rendered the screening COVID-19 mandatory in all farmed mink in the netherlands, where they are farmed for their fur.
In 2016, the highest court in the country ordered the closure of the farms aim by 2024.