Increased number of COVID-19 cases in Danish mink farms

Hygiene & Biosecurity

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration is intensifying its control efforts with unannounced visits and more frequent monitoring.

Posted on Sep 21 ,05:21

Increased number of COVID-19 cases in Danish mink farms

Danish authorities are announcing more cases of COVID-19 infections in mink farms and new control measures are underway, according to the Danish Minister of Food Mogens Jensen. From Monday 21 September, the country's mink farms can receive unannounced inspection visits by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

It must ensure that the staff at the farms take the necessary precautions with, among other things, the use of bandages, rubbing alcohol and other protective equipment. The unannounced inspection visits are introduced after COVID-19 has been found in an increasing number of mink farms locally in North Jutland.
"It is of course worrying that the infection is spreading, and we must ensure that the risk of infection is as small as possible. Therefore, I have asked the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration to take unannounced random checks to check whether the employees on the country's mink farms follow the authorities' instructions on the use of protective equipment and other precautions," says Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Mogens Jensen.
Since the government adopted a plan in July for the management of COVID-19-infected mink herds, it has been a legal requirement that everyone who travels in mink herds must use protective equipment to avoid human-animal transmission.

If the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration experience a breach of the rules in connection with the new control campaign, the consequence may be a police report.
In addition, surveillance in the North Jutland municipalities of Hjorring and Frederikshavn as well as in the neighbouring municipalities of Bronderslev and Jammerbugt will also be further intensified, as it is in this area that an increasing number of infected farms have been found.

In the survey on Friday, a total of 17 infected herds were found in Hjorring Municipality, while three were found in the neighbouring municipality of Frederikshavn. So far, all Danish mink farms have had to submit samples from dead mink for testing for COVID-19 every three weeks, but in the affected North Jutland municipalities, this is now being adjusted up to the fact that samples from dead mink must be submitted for testing twice a week. Failure to submit mink will result in immediate police reporting.

"The purpose of this is that we can find new cases of infection more quickly, and thus also get the infection contained more quickly," says Mogens Jensen.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has not found COVID-19 on mink farms elsewhere in the country. As of 18 September 2020, 20 mink herds in Denmark were registered infected with COVID-19, of which 17 herds in Hjorring municipality and three herds in Frederikshavn Municipality. Three of these herds were killed in June 2020 - two herds in Hjorring Municipality and one in Frederikshavn Municipality.
Earlier this year, China has claimed it found COVID-19 traces on food imported and has started to ban the imports from several processing units in North America, Europe or South America that have been reported as clusters of infection with the novel coronavirus.

Photo source: PETA

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