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Denmark to extend ban on mink farming until 2023, says agriculture minister

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By Euronews with AFP
In November, the Danish government ordered the culling of all mink because of the coronavirus.
In November, the Danish government ordered the culling of all mink because of the coronavirus.   -   Copyright  Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix via AP
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Denmark is set to extend a ban on mink farming until 2023, the country's agriculture minister has announced.

The entire population of mink in Denmark was culled in November over fears that the animals could transmit a mutated form of the coronavirus to humans.

Minister Rasmus Prehn said a bill to extend the ban on farming mink has the support of the majority of Danish MPs.

"The only thing to do is to extend the ban in force this year by one year so that it applies in 2022," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Health authorities had recommended that the ban be extended, as mink farms continued to present "a risk to human health of unknown magnitude."

"In the spring, we will take a position on the future of mink production in Denmark," added Zenia Stampe, leader of the Social Liberal Party.

Concerns have also been raised that the risk of mutation of the virus in the fur animals could threaten the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.

After an outbreak was reported in North Jutland last winter, 17 million animals at several hundred mink farms were culled.

The move did spark controversy, and the Danish government later admitted that it had no legal basis to carry out the cull at the time.