Denmark was the world’s largest supplier of farmed mink. Most was sold to China. It is estimated last year the business generated about $760 million with China being the largest buyer for fur pelts. Now Denmark’s mink industry has been eradicated completely. All mink, up to 17 million of them, have been killed.
Why? Researchers discovered the animals harbored mutations of the novel coronavirus that was now spreading to the human population. Health officials worried about such mutations which could change the gene structure in the virus in ways that could make it less susceptible to vaccines now under development or even cause the virus to become more lethal.
At least 12 Danes are known to be infected with a mutated coronavirus connected to the mink. Health authorities worried that if the problem was not addressed, the mink would build a reservoir of a mutated form that could be passed on to humans; one impervious to a vaccine. This potentially could set off a new wave of infections in Denmark or even the world. The worse-case scenario is that a new pandemic would begin again, starting with Denmark.
Nearby Netherlands has seen coronavirus outbreaks on more than 40 mink farms. The government has caused the culling of 1.5 million animals in that country. The government is bringing forward a ban on mink farming.
The beat goes on. It appears the world has not seen the end of coronavirus infections and death. It may get very worse before better, if ever. The Chinese have unleashed a devil they cannot control. In a larger sense, this is an example of genetic manipulation gone very wrong; or maybe intentionally so.