Thousands of mink to be culled after SARS-CoV-2 found on 23rd farm

The Dutch government revealed on Monday that the 23rd mink farm in the country showed positive test results for novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The farm houses two thousand female mink and their litters, and all of them will be culled as soon as possible, the Ministries of Health and Agriculture confirmed.

The newest discovery was made after the farm in Aarle-Rixtel, Noord-Brabant, reported animals that had health symptoms consistent with coronavirus disease Covid-19. All mink at the other 22 farms were also destroyed.

"The government has already taken measures for all fur farms in the Netherlands ... to prevent further spread and to prevent CoV-2 from passing from mink to human, which plausibly happened at two companies," the ministries stated. At least three people in the country may have contracted the infection from mink. Measures included "a national transport ban for mink, a visitor ban in the stables and a strict hygiene protocol," the ministries noted.

Mink farms will be banned in the Netherlands starting in 2024 at the conclusion of a transition period after Parliament voted to end the practice in 2013. Due to the outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2, the government has been working on a scheme to assist firms who want to end their mink fur businesses early.