Netherlands to cull mink as 25 farms found infected with coronavirus

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Dutch authorities said on Friday they would cull more than 1,100 mink as the new coronavirus was discovered on another farm in the Netherlands, making 25 in total.

The latest outbreak, in the small town of Westerbeek near the German border, was discovered when mink cubs were tested before they were to be transported to another location, the agriculture ministry said.

The Netherlands has strict regulations to contain a growing outbreak of coronavirus on mink farms and a week ago said cubs could be taken to other empty locations “with the eye on animal welfare” if they were not infected.

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The cubs from Westerbeek however tested positive for COVID-19 and the animals will be culled “as soon as possible,” the ministry said in a statement.

Read more: Coronavirus: New COVID-19 infection found on mink farm in Netherlands

More than one million mink have now been culled in the Netherlands, the Dutch public broadcaster NOS estimated on Tuesday.

The Netherlands first reported in April that two mink farms had been infected with the virus.

At least two workers were also infected in what the World Health Organization said could be the first known animal-to-human transmissions.

The farming of mink for fur is a controversial subject in the Netherlands, where all mink farms will have to be phased out by 2024.

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