French mink farms are under “surveillance” since the summer, said Thursday, November 5, the Ministry of Ecological Transition, after Denmark reported a mutation of the Covid-19 virus in mink.
This surveillance on mortality in the four French farms was set up after an alert from the Dutch authorities reporting, in early June, contamination of mink by the coronavirus. “Biosecurity measures are already being reinforced in these farms, added the ministry. And we will take appropriate measures as the situation evolves. “
PCR and serological analyzes will be carried out “in the form of a scientific study” in November and December, period of seasonal slaughter of mink raised for their fur. These four farms, denounced by animal rights activists, must close “under five years” in France, according to the announcements made in September by the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili.
The Netherlands and Spain had announced in recent months the contamination of many mink in farms present on their soil. But the announcement made by Denmark speaks of a mutation of the virus that could, according to Copenhagen, threaten the effectiveness of a future vaccine for humans.
The Danish Prime Minister announced on Wednesday the slaughter of all of the country’s fifteen million mink, saying that a mutated version of SARS-Cov-2 had been transmitted by these animals to twelve people. Authorities even said on Thursday that 280,000 residents in the northwest of the country would be subject to specific restrictions to prevent its spread.
Several scientists were wary after the statements of the Danish authorities, stressing that they had not had access to any scientific data allowing them to confirm or deny a specific mutation.