January 17th, 2021

B.C. mink farmer decides to destroy 1,000 animals after positive COVID-19 tests


By The Canadian Press on January 5, 2021.

Mink are shown on a farm near Naestved, Denmark, Friday Nov. 6, 2020. British Columbia's chief veterinarian says a Fraser Valley mink farmer personally decided to euthanize his remaining 1,000 animals after earlier tests confirmed the COVID-19 virus on three mink that died at the farm. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP

VICTORIA – British Columbia’s chief veterinarian says a mink farmer decided to euthanize the remaining 1,000 animals on his Fraser Valley operation after some of the mink tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Rayna Gunvaldsen says the operator was not ordered by the provincial government to euthanize the animals as more tests are underway to determine the extent of the presence of COVID-19.

The first farm where the virus spread to mink also had eight workers who tested positive and Gunvaldsen says both farms remain under quarantine.

She says there are no other reports of COVID-19 at B.C.’s eight other mink farms.

Alan Herscovici, a spokesman for the Canada Mink Breeders Association, says imposing strict quarantine and biosecurity measures at mink farms for about two weeks appears to limit the spread of COVID-19 to other animals.

After COVID-19 was diagnosed on the first farm, the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called for a moratorium on mink farming in the province.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2021.

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