15 FEBRUARY 2021 – The Fur Free Alliance and Eurogroup for Animals have released a scientific statement on public health risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 and intensive mink production, signed by numerous scientists from the fields of virology, infectious diseases, clinical microbiology, veterinary medicine and environmental health.
The statement comes in the wake of numerous outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 in mink farms in several European countries. This constitutes a proportionate reason for the EU to urgently suspend mink farming across Europe.
While many EU Member States have closed their mink farms in recent years, and others have already suspended mink farming to protect public health, mink fur farms in Europe represent a risk for maintaining reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2 and mutated strains within human society.
Thereby, future spillover between animals and humans can thwart the efforts to eliminate, or even control, the disease. EU mink farms must not become a reservoir for future spillback of SARS-CoV-2 from animals to humans.
Given the consequences of the risks identified in the scientific statement, and the substantial impact the pandemic has had so far on human lives, jobs and the European economy, the Fur Free Alliance and Eurogroup for Animals urge the European Commission to take a precautionary approach to the severity of the crisis and suspend mink farming and breeding across the EU. This would be a proportionate answer to the risk.