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Sweden bans mink farming for fear of coronavirus mutation

Sweden has banned mink farming until the end of the year over fears of new coronavirus mutations that could worsen the COVID-19 crisis.

A ban on the importation of live mink has also been introduced.

“In the environment that characterizes typical mink farms, with many individuals in a limited area, there are perfect conditions for the multiplication of the virus and the extensive spread of the infection, with the risk of affecting both animal health and public health, “Ann Lindberg, executive director of the National Veterinary Institute, said Wednesday when announcing the farm ban.

“Under current conditions, therefore, we do not consider it appropriate from an infection control point of view to increase the number of mink in the country through, for example, their reproduction, ”she explained.

Infected mink were first found in Sweden at the end of October 2020, but unlike neighboring Denmark, no cases of strain mutations have been recorded in the country’s mink farms. While fear of mutations has led to the slaughter of 15-17 million mink in Denmark, Sweden has handled the situation differently.

“We have gradually tightened the biosecurity requirements in mink farms and made several decisions with increasing restrictions, in particular, to try to prevent other facilities from becoming infected but also to prevent the infection from spreading to the ‘man,’ said Christina Nordin, CEO of the Swedish Board of Agriculture.

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