All minks to be culled to stop spread of Covid-19 in Ireland
Three mink farms have been informed that they should cull their animals.
All minks in Ireland are set to be culled in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The Department of Agriculture has this week informed the owners of the country's three remaining mink farms that they should cull their mink population to stop the spread of a potentially muted coronavirus.
In a letter to the Department this week, Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan advised the farmed mink population be culled as their presence is "an ongoing risk to public health."
This comes after a mutated strain of the virus was found on a mink farm in Denmark.
Agricultural minister Mogens Jensen asked all farmers to cull the country's 17 million mink population earlier this week. He has since resigned from his role and apologised for what he descried as a "mistake," although the mutated virus is thought to have been eradicated.
Dr Holohan said that Ireland's minks should be culled "as a matter of urgency," to ensure the mutated virus does not become the dominant strain of Covid-19.
According to RTÉ News, there are no immediate plans to carry out the culling, but farmers in Laois, Kerry and Donegal have been informed that it will go ahead at some stage.
In a statement provided to RTÉ, the farmers said the decision has "left three farm families in rural Ireland devastated and without a livelihood."
"While the Irish government is leaning on the recent Danish decision to cull all animals on these farms, it neglects to mention that the Danish decision was based on a rapid increase in the number of infected mink farms," they said.
Ireland's mink farms breed and kill approximately 110,000 mink for their fur per year. These three farms are the only fur farms operating in Ireland.
It is understood that farmers will be compensated short-term.