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Spain to cull over 90,000 mink due to coronavirus risk

Christian Fernsby |
The General Directorate of Public Health of the government of Aragon in Spain reported on Friday that coronavirus cases have been detected in a mink farm in the region and the government decided to cull around 92,000 mink in the autonomous community.

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Topics: SPAIN    MINK   

Joaquin Olona, the northeastern region's chief of agriculture, explained on Thursday that the mink, which were reared in a town called Puebla de Valverde, had been monitored since May 22 after seven workers at the farm tested positive for coronavirus.

A series of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests were carried out on the mink and on July 13 these showed that 87 of the animals, whose pelts are used to make fur coats, were infected with the virus.

Olona said they would have to be culled "in order to avoid the risk of human transmission," although he added it was uncertain whether "transmission was possible from animals to humans or vice-versa."

Spain is not the only country forced to cull mink en masse. The authorities in the Netherlands found the coronavirus in 20 mink farms earlier this month.

The region of Aragon is currently suffering a spike in new cases of COVID-19, with the Spanish Health Ministry confirming 266 new cases of the virus on Thursday and 820 over the previous seven days.

Many of these cases are linked to temporary workers in the fruit picking industry, but the high rate of infection means that parts of the region have been forced to move back from the "new normality", which Spain entered on June 21, to Phase 2 of the government's 4-phase plan to scale down the confinement measures.

This has seen the subsequent return of restrictions on mobility and on the number of people allowed at gatherings or inside bars and restaurants.

As of Thursday, a total of 28,416 people had lost their lives to coronavirus in Spain.

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