Given the new variant discovered in Denmark of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the cause of COVID-19, which has spread among minks on farms and has jumped to humans, experts ask for peace of mind, because the situation in Spain for the breeding of this animal is very different, very small and, moreover, it is controlled.
In Spain the breeding conditions of this animal are very different from Denmark, where 17 million specimens will be sacrificed to stop a supposed new variant of the coronavirus, both for territorial reasons and for population density and volume of farms, among other factors.
In Denmark there are about a thousand farms, while in the much more extensive Spanish territory, there are only 37, the vast majority in Galicia, and the rest, spread over Aragon, Castilla y León, the Basque Country and Valencia.
“There is no need to be alarmed” because the Government of Denmark has ordered the slaughter of millions of minks after the detection of a new strain of the virus, say sources from the General Council of Veterinary Colleges of Spain, who ask the population for reassurance.
And they add that “it is not abnormal” that this virus has mutated, because it is common, although it is not constantly checked. In addition, they add, mustelids, which include minks, as well as felines, are species particularly prone to suffering from it and infecting it.
“It is quite serious to allow reservoirs of the virus”
In fact, in summer the animals of a farm in Teruel were slaughtered in Spain for prevention and precaution with an outbreak of coronavirus where some workers were also infected.
It is essential to isolate the sources of contagion, as well as euthanize the animals in contact with other infected “for animal health and public health”, to avoid the spread of the disease, according to the same sources.
Environmentalists call for the closure of these farms
Environmental organizations, however, once again urge the closure of this type of farms intended to raise animals only for fur, because “it has been shown, both in the Netherlands and in Denmark, that this virus runs like foam”, explained this Friday Laura Moreno, head of the WWF campaign in this regard and expert on organization species.
“It is quite serious to allow reservoirs of the virus”, he said in relation to those farms, with thousands of animals overcrowded, because the coronavirus is reciprocally contagious between minks and people. In addition, it mutates and can infect humans again, “which would ruin the effectiveness of a possible vaccine against the pandemic,” he warns.
It also ensures that it is “very worrying” that a country like Denmark, the first American mink producer, has decided to slaughter so many animals, of which it has always been a firm defender because a large part of its economy and employment depends on them and reveals “gravity” of the situation.
United We can warn of the health risk
On the other hand, the confederal group United We Can has stressed this Friday that “nothing justifies the maintenance of this activity.” “Neither from an ethical point of view, because of the cruelty of this industry, nor because of the threat they pose to biodiversity, but, of course, under current conditions, for the health risk“, they have affirmed.
These farms “they should already be closed and prohibited”, has denounced the deputy Juantxo López de Uralde. “The interests of a specific industry, in this case, the fur industry, cannot alter our biodiversity or put our health at risk,” he warned.
“The use of their fur as a luxury commercial item is not a basic necessity, and the activity benefits only a few, but many of us suffer its impact”
Laura Moreno, from WWF, has also insisted: can’t wait anymore to close these farms. Not only for human health, he said, but also because the American fur mink is an invasive species that displaces the native European ones and, also, for the well-being of this variant, so crowded in its breeding in small cells.
“The use of their fur as a luxury commercial item is not a basic necessity, and the activity only benefits a few, but many of us suffer its impact “, laments the head of WWF.