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Denmark minks culled over coronavirus mutation ‘rise’ from graves

Over 15 million minks were culled, buried in mass graves

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 26, 2020 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
Posted: Nov 26, 2020 | Last Updated: 8 months ago

An aerial view taken on November 12 shows thousands of killed minks being buried at the Jydske Dragonregiment's training ground at Noerre Felding near Holstebro in Denmark. Photo: AFP

Denmark had carried out a mass culling of over 15 million minks over fears of a COVID-19 mutation moving from the animals to humans. Recently, dead minks resurfaced from their shallow graves, reported state media DR. 

“With natural decay, some gases are formed which cause the whole thing to expand a little. And then in that way, in the worst case, the mink gets pushed out of the ground,” said Thomas Kristensen, press officer of the National Police.

The minks are buried in mass graves in a one-metre deep trench on a military training ground in Holstebro.

We have tried to fix the situation by laying more soil on top, Kristensen explained, but the challenge is that the sandy soil in West Jutland is too light.

“It seems like no one really knows the consequences of this. I must confess that I find it worrying. And I can well understand that the mayors of Holstebro and Viborg municipalities want the minks dug up again,” says Susan Münster, director of environmental agency Danske Vandværker, reported Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten

Authorities want the minks to be removed from the graves and incinerated. 

Denmark, the world’s largest exporter of mink fur, announced on November 4 that it would be slaughtering all mink in the country—numbering 15 to 17 million spread over 1,080 farms — following the discovery of the mutation which can be passed to humans.

The mutation had been detected in 12 people. Though scientists have said the mutation is harmless, it could affect the COVID-19 vaccines in development.

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