Danish government finds backing for mink cull law

FILE PHOTO: Dead minks are seen at Sydvestjysk Pelscenter where they are pelted, in Varde, Denmark, November 7, 2020. John Randeris/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark’s minority government has agreed with supporting parties to create the legal basis for an order to cull all of the farmed mink in the country given earlier this month to prevent the spread of a new strain of coronavirus.

The legislation, which will be retroactive, follows an outcry after the Social Democratic government admitted it had no legal underpinning for the cull, which Denmark’s mink fur farmers say will end their business for good.

“The process has been messy,” Food and Agriculture Minister Mogens Jensen said in a statement released on Monday night, about two weeks after the initial order to cull all mink was given.

“I am very happy that with this agreement we will hopefully create some peace around the very large culling operation taking place on the country’s mink farms.”

The deal, which will be made into law in the coming month, will ban all mink breeding until 2022 and provide a legal basis for ordering farmers to cull their healthy mink herds, which contain up to 17 million animals. Culls of infected mink had already been taking place under existing law.

The government will continue negotiations with parliament in order to reach a deal on compensating some 1,100 mink farmers.

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