Coronavirus found at 24th mink farm; 4,500 animals to be culled

Mink on a farm in Ledeacker in Noord-Brabant were diagnosed with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Ministries of Agriculture and Public Health announced on Wednesday. The animals were diagnosed with the virus after the company reported that the animals were showing symptoms.

The coronavirus has now been found at a total of 24 mink farms in the Netherlands. The around 4,500 mink on the farm in Ledeacker will be culled as soon as possible. The thousands of mink on the other farms have already been culled.

Responsible Ministers Hugo de Jonge of Public Health and Carola Schouten of Agriculture decided that all animals on infected farms had to be killed, because there have been cases of mink-to-human transmission. 

The Ministers also implemented a national ban on transporting mink. No visitors are allowed in the stables, and strict hygiene protocols were implemented. The cabinet is also working on a scheme to help mink farmers voluntarily terminate their business. Mink farming will be illegal in the Netherlands from 2024. 

The government will continue to monitor mink farms in the coming weeks, in order to quickly detect new infections. The Ministers also asked the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine to investigate possible routes of infection for the farms.