Coronavirus found at 43rd Dutch mink farm
Mink on a fur farm in Venhorst in the municipality of Boekel tested positive for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Ministries of Public Health and Agriculture said on Monday. The animals were diagnosed after the farm reported them showing symptoms. This is the 43rd mink farm in the Netherlands to be infected with the coronavirus.
The farm has around 9 thousand mother animals. They and their litters will be culled at the earliest convenience.
Last week the government decide to follow the Outbreak Management Team's (OMT) advice and accelerate the ban on mink farming in the Netherlands. According to the OMT, this is the most effective way to stop coronavirus hotspots forming at mink farms. Mink farmers will now have to close their business after the fur period that starts in November, so from spring next year. Before the coronavirus crisis, the government had already decided to ban mink farming from 2024.
The government is currently working on a compensation scheme for mink farmers and reserved a total of 150 million euros for this scheme.
While mink farms are still open, and as the coronavirus continues to spread in these businesses despite previous measures, hygiene measures and controls will be further tightened. The OMT said that humans are most likely the source of infection at these companies. Mink farms now have to keep a stricter register on who is working where and when on their farms. Employees who work at multiple locations will have to wait ten day before switching locations. These and the already implemented hygiene measures will be more strictly enforced in the coming period.