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Mink slaughtered for fear of COVID-19 infection emerge from the grave

2020-11-27T23:20:21.166Z

The animals were euthanized because it was feared that they would infect humans with a mutated form of the new coronavirus.



A group of animals that had the new coronavirus, with a mutated strain, are rising from their grave after being sacrificed to avoid contagion.

The minks that Denmark had to slaughter a few weeks ago had been put in a mass grave, but in recent days they began to peek out from the ground.

"We believe it is the remains of the minks that were at the top" of the pit, Jannike Elmegaard of Denmark's vet association told the Associated Press news agency.

According to Elmegaard, the appearance of these "zombie minks" is due to a natural process in which the remains are emitting gases that

raise the corpses

, because the land in which the animals were buried was very sandy.

A group of caged minks at a farm in Naestved, Denmark, on November 6, 2020.Ritzau Scanpix / Mads Claus Rasmussen via Reuters /

The minks had been infected with SARS-CoV2 from humans, but the virus mutated within the animals and they subsequently infected at least 11 people in the Danish province of West Jutland.

That led authorities to have to eliminate the animals - some 15 million in total, both from Jutland and from other parts of the country where there were infections among mammals - in early November.

The main fear was that

potential infections from the mutation would become uncontrollable, both in Denmark and around the world

if they spread, mainly because the mutation might not respond to vaccines in development.

[First killer hornet nest found in America]

There is also concern among locals that the mass grave is very

close to areas with underground water reserves

that could have become contaminated despite the fact that the slaughtered animals were disinfected and covered with lime.

So far there is no evidence of such contamination, and there is no record yet that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be transmitted through water since it is filtered to be drinkable.

Several mayors have now called for the remains of the animals to be cremated instead of leaving them in the three-foot-deep trench.

[Scientists Investigate Possible COVID-19 Mutation]

It is possible that "there are still very small amounts of bacteria or other on the skins," Danish national police spokesman Thomas Kristensen told DR state television.

"It is never sanitary to approach dead animals, so of course you should not approach these minks either," he added.

The decision to euthanize the animals was made with a

vote in the

Danish

Parliament

, which also passed a law prohibiting the breeding of minks until the end of 2021 and plans to financially compensate the nearly 6,000 Danes who are engaged in such breeding.

Coronavirus: Can animals transmit the disease?

March 30, 202001: 46

Minks, or 

mink

 in English, are normally

bred to sell their fur.

Mink farms in Denmark generate the largest supply of the fur in the world, while mainland China and Hong Kong are the most widely purchased countries.

The environmental group Greenpeace organized protests in several cities to warn that the trade in animals for their skins is one of the factors that promotes pandemics.

Scientific studies have precisely warned that this happens

when the natural habitat of animals is affected

, with deforestation or changes to biodiversity for livestock or large-scale breeding;

many times the species that survive the change (such as bats) are more likely to harbor disease.

Denmark had as of Wednesday 74,000 cases of people infected with COVID-19 and about 800 deaths due to the new coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2020-11-27

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