On 4 November 2020, Denmark decided to cull more than 15 million mink on its nearly 1,200 fur farms nationwide. This, after several animals infected with Covid-19 were discovered – some of them with a mutated version of the virus. Denmark is by no means an individual case: five other countries, including the United States and the Netherlands, have observed the same incidents of infection and transmission. Fondation Franz Weber sent a letter to the Danish Prime Minister on Monday, 9 November 2020 – today the Danish decision is still pending.
Denmark is – along with China, the USA and the Netherlands – one of the largest mink fur producers in the world. Mink – living as solitary animals in the wild – are often kept under cruel conditions, in tiny individual cages made of mesh stacked on top of each other. The fur industry, whose sole purpose is to satisfy the demand of the luxury fashion world, inflicts unspeakable cruelty on these animals.
On 4 November 2020, the Danish government announced to start killing more than 15 million mink, i.e. the entire mink population on the country’s nearly 1,200 fur farms. The reason for this is the acute danger these farms pose in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. The risk of such transmissions and mutations has been known since April 2020. At that time, the Netherlands already made a similar observation as now in Denmark, which led to increased closures of Dutch fur farms. So why didn’t the Danish authorities act sooner?
Following Denmark’s announcement, Fondation Franz Weber sent a letter to the Danish Prime Minister on Monday, 9 November 2020, highlighting the cruelty of this industry and the terrible consequences for millions of animal lives due to the authorities’ inaction for several months.
Today Tuesday, 10 November, we learn that the Danish government has reversed its decision, at least for the time being, following pressure from all sides, including the political opposition party. The country faces a dilemma: prioritise public health and kill millions of animals, or continue to maintain its fur production industry?