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Greece Finds COVID-19 Among Mink at Two Farms

November 13, 2020

THESSALONIKI — Greek authorities have found Covid-19 in mink at two farms in northern Greece, an agriculture ministry official said on Friday.

In northern Greece, more than 2,000 minks are to be culled after some of the animals tested positive for the coronavirus.

Athanassios Langas of Greece’s fur breeders’ association said Friday that the animals were tested after the farm’s owners were found to be infected with the virus. Some 300 breeders have been tested for the coronavirus, with 10 found positive, he said.

More than 80 farms are located in northern Greece, with more than 1.3 million minks. So far there has been no indication that Greece will cull its entire mink population.

On Thursday, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control issued new guidance to curb the spread of the coronavirus between minks and humans, warning that the transmission of COVID-19 among animals could speed up the number of mutations in the virus before it potentially jumps back to people. The agency said allowing it to spread within minks could have worrisome consequences.

The discovery comes days after the cooperative that sells nearly half of Denmark's mink furs, will “gradually downsize" and shut down over the next 2-3 years after the government last week ordered the culling of millions of animals to fight an outbreak of COVID-19 among the animals and staff.

Kopenhagen Fur CEO Jesper Lauge said Thursday that the discovery of coronavirus infections put the Danish mink industry “in an extreme and unusually difficult situation.”

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